Cities Burning: Stories of Riots from 1992 and 2020

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Patrick

Patrick is a mid-40 year old geek with an undergraduate degree in mathematics and a master's degree in Information Systems. Nothing he says here has anything to do with the official position of his employer or any other institution.

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  1. Avatar Damon
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    says:

    There was a whole bunch of “we” in that article and what those people aren’t doing to fix things in Cali. You’re right…it’s the Californian’s that are at fault. So what are you Californian’s gonna do about it? Based upon your post, the conclusion seems to be “not much”.

    Let me point to a bed and then you.Report

    • Avatar Pat in reply to Damon
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      says:

      I hope you find peace someday, and until you do I ask that you just not comment on my stuff.Report

      • Avatar Damon in reply to Pat
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        says:

        Peace? I’m quite at peace. I asked a real question. I saw a lot of “this is the situation” and lots of complaints about how it wasn’t being fixed, yes I didn’t see anything that actually suggested a forward path. I quote: “Please help. Help somebody. Not just today, and not just tomorrow.”

        Tell us what you want everyone to do and be specific.Report

        • Avatar Swami in reply to Damon
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          says:

          My suggestion is to start with an honest framing of the issue. Something Pat is refusing to do.Report

        • Avatar Pat in reply to Damon
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          says:

          Seriously dude if you blew past the whole thing and the ending line is really all you got out of it, I suggest that I’m not the one with problem here.

          Try re-reading it and see if you can find anything in there that sounds like advice. If you can’t, well, okay then.Report

          • Avatar Damon in reply to Pat
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            says:

            I read every single line and I reread it again. It’s all this:

            “We pass local legislation that protects the historical value of our homes…without also demanding that our city build sufficient affordable housing with the same vigor.

            We ensure one actually gets done, without the other…then complain about density.”

            None of which is a recommendation of specific actions. And frankly, it’s not even advice other than the most general “we could do better”. I suppose you could distill it all to “get involved”, but that’s about as significant as the “rock the vote” campaign. If that’s the type of action your advocating, i submit that the results will be more of the same that you complain about in your post.Report

  2. Avatar Dark Matter
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    says:

    Shoot the looters.

    Don’t stop peaceful protesters.Report

  3. Avatar Chip Daniels
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    says:

    As a veteran of those same riots, these echo a lot of my memories as well.

    If riots are a symptom of some deeper malignancy, policing is the narcotic that dulls the pain. Neither one of them is the actual problem or actual solution.

    Society can’t exist when some percentage of its members have no faith in the system’s willingness to treat them fairly or with justice.

    What is that percentage? Much smaller than any of us would like to admit. At its height, the percentage of rioters was tiny, only an insignificant sliver of the total citizenry. And yet our police forces were entirely overwhelmed.

    Last night, as the riots were unfolding, Los Angeles Police Chief said it plainly, that policing can’t solve the underlying societal ills, and that it was up to the people and their representatives to fix those ills because police suppression of violence at this scale is unsustainable.
    https://edition.cnn.com/videos/us/2020/05/31/los-angeles-police-chief-protests-sot-vpx.cnn

    So any solution is going to come from us the citizens. We have to find a way to build trust and faith in the justice system and our police forces.Report

    • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Chip Daniels
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      says:

      Having held a few union jobs, my experience was there were pluses and minuses. In the plus category, they tended to pay better than the average and have good benefits. On the negative side, as someone who likes to work hard and do a good job, it can be demoralizing because unions also protect co-workers who would likely be fired anywhere else. I assume this problem doesn’t go away in jobs where it’s permissible to use force, and is probably exacerbated by the fact.Report

  4. Avatar gabriel conroy
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    says:

    I probably disagree with some of the points in the OP, but mostly…..I’ll say ditto!….especially to the (I paraphrase) “it’s not only the fault of the 1/2 of the 1%” claim.Report

  5. Avatar InMD
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    says:

    There’s some truth to this but the whole collective guilt/collective guilt tripping a certain cultural cohort prefers for discussing this problem is tiresome and counter-productive. This is not insurmountable and even better much of it can be attacked at the local and county levels where most policing is controlled. A few things like the below would probably go a long way:

    -legislate strict and highly specific use of force guidelines that prioritize citizen as opposed to officer safety and immediate discipline for people who violate them. You could also probably throw in elimination of no-knock warrants.
    -independent citizen oversight with actual power to investigate and report, maybe compel prosecution where warranted.
    -fully public disciplinary records.
    -civil liability for individual officers.
    -electing administrations willing to play hardball in collective bargaining.

    What this looks like in practice probably varies jurisdiction by jurisdiction but what’s paramount is getting to politically possible specifics. All the jeremiads about what unspecified ‘white people’ owe unspecified ‘poc’ or whatever are not useful and become another culture war flashpoint where for all the histrionics and hot air nothing ever happens.Report

    • Avatar Swami in reply to InMD
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      says:

      Yeah, we need to hold police accountable for brutality. As public servants with unusual degrees of power, they need to be held to extremely high standards. They aren’t.

      OTOH, how we address this needs to not be so sloppy that it leads to the cops just abandoning their role in minority communities. They aren’t idiots and they know that when they even appear to brutalize a white person the narrative is that “That is unfortunate but the asshole should have obeyed the law.” When they appear to do so (justly or not) to a black male the narrative is “racist pig!’ And broadcast 24/7 nationally for two weeks until the media ratings boost submerges.Report

      • Avatar InMD in reply to Swami
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        says:

        I have very limited sympathy for the whole ‘we will abandon our posts’ threat. Anyone who feels that way probably isn’t cut out for the job. They picked it and while it isn’t reasonable to ask every cop to be Jesus Christ it is perfectly fair to demand very high standards of anyone being trusted with this kind of power.

        Racism in the ranks is probably pretty hard to assess in any objective way and is subject to all kind of variation in different departments of which there are thousands. Obviously where it’s identified it should be stamped out. But the bigger issue to me seems to be one of lack of standards, general incompetence, and a whole bunch of crazy incentives and militarization pushed by politicians and their pet causes without regard for collateral damage.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Swami
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        says:

        “ They aren’t idiots and they know that when they even appear to brutalize a white person the narrative is that “That is unfortunate but the asshole should have obeyed the law.””

        Is that the narrative?Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Swami
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        says:

        OTOH, how we address this needs to not be so sloppy that it leads to the cops just abandoning their role in minority communities.

        The fact that this is even a possibility (let alone a likely outcome) implies that cop culture and cop institutions need *serious* reform. What you’re suggesting might be a natural consequence of *bad* reform would most likely be used as leverage to prevent *any* reform. We know this already, since cops, via their unions, threaten to stop policing at the merest hint of even the slightest substantive pro-accountability reforms.Report

    • Avatar Pat in reply to InMD
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      says:

      My whole point is that this is a problem related primarily to a certain set of folks so thanks for dismissing the point, I guess.

      Perhaps it wouldn’t be so tiresome if behaviors actually changed.Report

      • Avatar InMD in reply to Pat
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        says:

        What point? That a big, amorphous group of people are bad and should feel bad? Good luck getting to meaningful reform with that.Report

        • Avatar Pat in reply to InMD
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          says:

          I pointed out specific things in the actual post.

          Should I add bullet points?Report

          • Avatar InMD in reply to Pat
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            says:

            Putting aside the immediate
            sparks for this latest round of unrest I doubt you and I are all that far apart on support for general infrastructure for social mobility. What’s less clear to me is that shame is the way to make the case to people operating rationally in the existing structure. Maybe I was inartful about that in my initial comment.Report

            • Avatar Pat in reply to InMD
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              Okay, that’s a fair response.

              The problem with the existing structure is that we have a multilayered system of governance and we are stuck, repeatedly, in stupid one-off prisoner dilemmas and the folks who vote (who again, we’re the deciders here, we’re the ones to sway actual election results on the main) simply *can’t* get past voting rationally as if we’re in single game instances and failing to see that we’re actually in iterated games, here.

              We refuse to commit to ameliorating the consequences.

              Right now, the member of my local city council who is the most friendly with the police union and not supportive of a civilian oversight commission is getting more endorsements for mayor than his opponent who isn’t, by folks who claim to want police reform (and I believe, in fact, they do) because he’s more antidevelopment than the other guy, and when push comes to shove they’d rather have no more new development (when housing prices are an insane problem here)… that actually drives folks out of town by pricing them out… than reforming our police department. Another one was endorsed by multiple progressive political activists besides having a twelve year history of crapping on the school district whenever it was politically expedient to do so.

              If we can’t “shame” people (a characterization I reject, by the way, because I’ll I’m doing here is just pointing out they’re not following through time and again on what they claim to support)…

              … how do you suggest we change their strategic thinking?Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to Pat
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                says:

                Ok this makes a lot more sense to me now. We have a similar dynamic in my county, which I experience from the outside looking in due to living on the wrong side. The Democratic party sweeps all important offices but is dominated by an (IMO very backward looking) anti-development faction. While highly progressive in theory that group just happens to retain power with support from the corner with excellent school districts and basically the best everything.

                It’s endlessly frustrating to me and others like me who live in nice enough neighborhoods, still pay pretty high property taxes, but have really hard choices when it comes to school selection. However I grudgingly get the other side’s position. The mortgages they’re paying and corresponding property taxes are insane. You’ve got six figure differences between the same homes on different sides of the street where the school district boundaries runs down the middle. If I’d made the sacrifice to get over there damned if I’d want to give it up. Hell even if I wanted to for purely altruistic reasons I’d be terrified I’d end up underwater on my mortgage because of the impact on home values.

                For that reason I think the only way to get movement is to find some self interest and start appealing to it, or, failing that, find a grand bargain that addresses it. I suspect the only way to make it work will involve something that bribes rich-ish people to let go, which would feel really icky. However I don’t see any other way to fairly start the untangling.Report

  6. Avatar Swami
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    says:

    In other words, the world isn’t perfect yet.

    The first step in making things better is to establish a realistic appraisal of the situation.

    “…people who are over-policed and repressed…”

    I don’t think this matches reality. I would argue that the problem is the opposite. There is a subsection of Americans who make up a minuscule (3-5%) portion of the population but commit at least half of all violent crimes. This is exactly where police should aim even more of their attention. Police should focus on where the crime is (by neighborhood, not skin color) and if they did a better job of repressing it, then we wouldn’t see these disparities.

    This problem will not ever go away until the vast disparities in crime go away. I doubt the police and courts and prisons can do this, but would instead look to the leaders of these communities taking full accountability and responsibilities for themselves and their fellow community members.

    These kind of rants (and in some cases exaggerations of problems) just contribute to the sense of hopelessness and anger.

    Professor McCloskey wrote a Massive three book series on the effects of rhetoric on civilizational progress. I don’t agree with everything she wrote, but she makes a great point that our rhetoric and framing and shared mindsets make a huge impact on how we respond to the inevitable problems we encounter. This piece is part of the rhetoric which lead toward riots, not away. It isn’t (just) that “we” aren’t doing enough, it is that YOU are doing too much to make things worse.

    Note: I am in no way excusing police brutality, which is unacceptable. The issue is that when black males between the ages of 15 and 45 make up a minuscule portion of the population but have the majority of interactions with the police, then they are going to be the recipients of the majority of police abuse even absent any slightest amount of racism. And racism/outgroup distrust is an unfortunate part of our nature.Report

    • Avatar Pat in reply to Swami
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      says:

      Thanks to decades of redlining, when you police by neighborhood you often are policing by minority status.

      There’s also gobs of evidence that people of color are disproportionately policed for the same crimes white people are given passes for, in arrests, charges, convictions, and sentencingReport

      • Avatar Swami in reply to Pat
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        says:

        I am not denying that they are segregated in distinct communities regardless of the reason. I certainly would expect the areas with almost all the murders and robberies to get most of the police attention. The root of this problem is disparate rates of criminality. The rest — charges, arrests, convictions and sentencing plays out from there.

        You are right that cops probably treat a random belligerent black teen different than a random docile Japanese granny. It would be illogical to treat the two individuals the same. Point is they run into thousands of times more of the former than the latter.

        Yes you are the problem. Your framing of the issue is adding fuel to the fire. Please stop it.Report

      • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Pat
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        says:

        Thanks to decades of redlining…

        After we got rid of redlining, the black middle class was able to flee and concentrated poverty increased a lot. There are tipping points where everyone with the resources and willingness to flee leaves. (see “concentrated poverty wiki”),

        There’s also gobs of evidence that people of color are disproportionately policed for the same crimes white people are given passes for, in arrests, charges, convictions, and sentencing

        Policing is mostly a local thing, with the local community getting what they want. Thus decades ago Ann Arbor’s students used the ballot box to change smoking weed to a $5 fine and the cops stopped enforcing that law.

        My zip code has guns but our murder rate is zero. The last time I called enforcement was over a dead skunk. The cops around here are pretty laid back.

        Now if we had teens shooting each other over shoes and crime was everywhere, then we-the-community would put a lot of pressure on the cops to “do something”, and I doubt they’d be so laid back.Report

        • Avatar InMD in reply to Dark Matter
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          says:

          You have a point here Dark but you’re also letting the police off the hook way too easily for things like Stop and Frisk and similar initiatives. That was a decision to violate a huge number of black people’s rights even in the face of plummeting crime rates that didn’t even identify much contraband to begin with. The fact that a program like that wouldn’t fly in more affluent communities matters a lot with respect to how this problem is perceived.Report

          • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to InMD
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            says:

            Stop and Frisk was the police obeying their political masters. “Stop crime even if it intrudes on people’s rights” is a local, or at most regional, choice.

            This implies reforming the police won’t make this sort of problem go away.Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Swami
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      says:

      “There is a subsection of Americans who make up a minuscule (3-5%) portion of the population but commit at least half of all violent crimes.”

      No.

      You are relying on data that is itself unreliable. Even questions so seemingly objective like “how many black people are arrested?” and “how many crimes are committed?” are unreliable, since all we have to go on are police reports, the stories that the police tell us.

      It isn’t just that the police are lying (although they do) its that we know that what is considered a crime is often arbitrary.

      For example- a man rushes into a government building with a gun.
      Is this a crime?
      It depends!
      Is he a white man in Michigan? No, it is not a crime, and not listed in the statistics.
      Is he black or Muslim? Then yes, and it becomes a crime or terrorist event.

      Two people have an altercation in the park over dogwalking.
      Is there an arrest?
      It depends!
      Is he black? Then yes, there is probably an arrest.
      Wait- is there video?
      Well, then no, there probably is not an arrest and no statistic is recorded.

      See, even the base, raw data of our criminology is flawed and unreliable to describe the reality of what is happening.Report

      • Avatar Swami in reply to Chip Daniels
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        says:

        Even assuming that there is a degree of racism, which certainly seems plausible, it isn’t sufficient to make up for the fact that half of all violent crimes are being committed by this subsection.

        Repeating your anecdotes and throwing out ‘just so’ stories doesn’t make this disparity less true. The point is that black males in their late teens are several orders of magnitude more likely to commit rape, murder, burglary and so on than Japanese ladies in their 60s.

        Police do their jobs where the criminals are and where the crimes occur and They interact confrontationally with those with reasonable degrees of likelihood to be suspected. Hence we rarely get videos of abuse of old Japanese ladies.

        Police abuse is rare, albeit way too frequent. But if it only occurs 1% of the time, it is still going to occur at thousands of times higher rates for black teen males than for Japanese grannies.

        These riots are an inevitable outcome of your framing of the issue. The rioting problem is caused by you and Pat every bit as much as by the police abuse.Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Swami
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          says:

          When a scientist advances a theory such as “Humans are the only creatures who make tools” how many videos of chimps using tools does it take to cast doubt on the theory?

          You keep insisting that we don’t need to listen to black people, that we can simply review statistics and draw conclusions of how it is to live in America as a black person.

          I’m trying to point out that this is illogical and unscientific.Report

          • Avatar Swami in reply to Chip Daniels
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            says:

            If you have better data on the issue than what is supplied below, please let me know. But quit just repeating that you heard it from your obviously biased sources which thrive on the (admittedly sometimes correct) narrative of “poor innocent black person abused by the police.” You may very well be right that this source below is biased as well, but you remind me of the parents who are convinced that Halloween candy is all laced with razors. After all, that is all they ever hear.

            https://necpluribusimpar.net/reality-police-violence-us/

            Nobody is saying there is zero violence against blacks by police, nor that there is zero police brutality. The argument is that the rates of violent interaction are roughly proportionate to the crime rate adjusted for how the suspect acts at the time of being confronted or arrested. As I wrote above, I would legitimately expect a hundred or thousand times as many confrontations to happen between cops and black teens as between cops and Japanese grandmothers. Wouldn’t you? This doesn’t prove cops are showing privilege to old Japanese ladies.

            I support your right to disagree, and might value your opinion if you had Some iota of data to the contrary, but you don’t. Indeed you don’t seem to acknowledge the possibility that your anecdotes could be biased.

            Progressive ideology + extremely diverse crime rates by demographic + progressive media thriving on racism = riots and the social decay of America.

            The secular religion of progressive ideology is the greatest threat to modern society. It is the cancer eating up our country via corrupt rhetoric. This will be true regardless of how good we get our cops (and they have a long way to improve).Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Swami
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              says:

              Anecdotes ARE data, no matter what you hear on the internet.

              Sure, they can be biased. But millions of them all biased in the same direction?

              Why aren’t we hearing millions of abuse stories from white people?

              Actually, we do!
              Fox News and the rightwingosphere have always trafficked in urban black horror stories- stuff like the KnockOut Game, or Gang Flashing Headlight Initiation murder.
              Except these stories get debunked, not by people reciting police data, but by other white people saying “Man, that’s just not happening!”

              Your theory that the riots are just the result of some mass delusion and imaginary abuse is not believable.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                Anecdotes ARE data…

                This is nonsense.

                Anecdotal evidence is often unscientific or pseudoscientific because various forms of cognitive bias may affect the collection or presentation of evidence. For instance, someone who claims to have had an encounter with a supernatural being or alien may present a very vivid story, but this is not falsifiable. This phenomenon can also happen to large groups of people through subjective validation.

                Anecdotal evidence is also frequently misinterpreted via the availability heuristic, which leads to an overestimation of prevalence. Where a cause can be easily linked to an effect, people overestimate the likelihood of the cause having that effect (availability). In particular, vivid, emotionally charged anecdotes seem more plausible, and are given greater weight. A related issue is that it is usually impossible to assess for every piece of anecdotal evidence, the rate of people not reporting that anecdotal evidence in the population.(wiki)

                Sure, they can be biased. But millions of them all biased in the same direction?

                This country, over its entire history combined, has not had “millions” of people killed by the police.

                We average something like 300 per year. For perspective we have about 160 cops die in the line of duty every year.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter
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                Can you cite a single history book that doesn’t rely upon letters, diaries, reports, and stories?

                I made a joking reference to the Gulag Archipelago, but can you describe what life in Communist Cuba is like, using nothing but data?

                And like I mentioned before, a police report itself is an anecdote: “I observed the suspect enter the building…” is no different than “I walked into the building…”

                Is there ever any “data” to support the officer’s assertions of probable cause?

                Nowadays we have bodycams, but as we are seeing, those very often tell a different story than the officer’s report.

                So why isn’t it reasonable to assume that the entire body of criminal statistics isn’t riddle with lies and distortions?Report

            • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Swami
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              says:

              if you had Some iota of data to the contrary, but you don’t.

              I recall a study from the DOJ Civil Rights Division on Ferguson, Missouri’s policing practices:

              Ferguson’s law enforcement practices are shaped by the City’s focus on revenue rather than by public safety needs. This emphasis on revenue has compromised the institutional character of Ferguson’s police department, contributing to a pattern of unconstitutional policing, and has also shaped its municipal court, leading to procedures that raise due process concerns and inflict unnecessary harm on members of the Ferguson community. Further, Ferguson’s police and municipal court practices both reflect and exacerbate existing racial bias, including racial stereotypes. Ferguson’s own data establish clear racial disparities that adversely impact African Americans. The evidence shows that discriminatory intent is part of the reason for these disparities. Over time, Ferguson’s police and municipal court practices have sown deep mistrust between parts of the community and the police department, undermining law enforcement legitimacy among African Americans in particular.

              Report

              • Avatar Swami in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                Thanks again Stillwater. It certainly looks to me like Ferguson police were racist. As indicated by data and backed up by anecdotes. I wish Chip would offer similar quality of arguments.Report

        • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Swami
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          says:

          Police abuse is rare, albeit way too frequent.

          By abuse do you mean unjustified use of lethal force or stop and frisk and so on?Report

          • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Stillwater
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            says:

            Re: the “abuse” line I’m reminded of cops in Baltimore who carried toy guns in the trunk of their patrol care “in case we accidentally hit somebody or got into a shootout, so we could plant them.”

            More: ” Prosecutors say the squad, which was tasked with getting illegal guns off the streets, abused its power by robbing suspects and innocent people, raiding homes without warrants, and selling confiscated drugs, among other crimes.”

            Does that constitute police abuse?

            And is it “rare”?Report

          • Avatar Swami in reply to Stillwater
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            Both I suppose. But I was thinking about unjustified use of force. I (like Jaybird) think police abuse and lack of accountability is a real problem.

            I think exaggerating and hyping the racism angle is what is causing the riots. Until actual crime rates become reasonably proportionate to race — and they aren’t even remotely so now — this problem is guaranteed to happen unless we face the real issue.

            There is even a greater disparity in arrest rates and violent interactions if we sort it by gender (Or age). But we all know that males commit ten times as many violent crimes, so we dismiss the disparities in treatment, mistreatment and arrest/conviction/sentencing. It is recognized as a non issue. We are unable to face the truth on this issue. And living the lie (see everything Chip writes), leads to the riots.Report

            • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Swami
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              says:

              I think exaggerating and hyping the racism angle is what is causing the riots.

              Well, we’ll never know what the motivation of each and every protestor or rioter is. But I think you and I both agree that there’s differential policing of the black community relative to whites which constitutes abuse beyond merely illegitimate use of force. We probably also agree that some reforms of the criminal justice system, cop unions, qualified immunity, etc., are necessary to minimize abuse regardless of how it expresses itself.Report

              • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                There’s a saying in French that translates to: Don’t confuse the moon with the finger pointing at it.Report

              • Avatar Swami in reply to Rufus F.
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                says:

                And make no mistake, I blame the police for abuse, and the finger pointing at racism for the riots.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Swami
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                says:

                Here’s an account of the current sitch:

                Day 1-2 after Floyd died, there was pretty peaceful protests accompanied by some rioting over the failure of prosecutors to file charges against the cops.

                Day 3 (I think) the Minneapolis prosecutor publicly states that not only is he not going to file charges against Chauvin, but he possess exonerating evidence which supports his view of not filing charges. That moment, I submit, is when things went off the rails and the protests/riots went national.

                And if that’s right, then the rioting (insofar as it’s motivated directly by police abuse and not agitators with their own agendas) was a response not to the racism perse, but to a criminal justice system that protects cops despite video evidence showing them murdering an unresisting man in handcuffs.

                So I think it’s more about the criminal justice system than about the racism although I concede, to your point, that the racist actions are the ones which gain the most attention.Report

              • Avatar Swami in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                Thanks, good points all.Report

              • Avatar Swami in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                Well I basically agree, but as I think I said elsewhere, if people behave differently, they need to be policed differently. I would in no way expect police to do their job identically with belligerent young males compared to docile grannies. This is true at the institutional level as well as the individual level. What works for one would be absurdly ineffective at the other.Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Swami
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              says:

              Hey look, its a new edition of a classic work:

              The Gulag Archipelago; A Collection of Anecdata, Just-So Stories and Anomalies Which In No Way Describe The Truth of Life In The Soviet UnionReport

      • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
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        says:

        You are relying on data that is itself unreliable.

        That issue is why I like to count corpses in these kinds of discussions. Everyone agrees what a dead body looks like and dead bodies attract enough attention that we count most of them.

        It’s also not controversial to think young males commit most violent crime.

        If we assume murder is a stand in for violent crime in general, then his statements about percentages look reasonable.

        Pretending really, REALLY hard those stats are just racism is going to run into the problem that facts are stubborn things.

        Replace our police force with robots and we won’t have them kneeling on someone’s neck until he dies… but the racial population of jails won’t be close to percentages of population.Report

      • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Chip Daniels
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        says:

        I get that this idea is too good to check, but I’ve checked it anyway, and the problem with this is that the demographic patterns seen in the UCR arrest records are also seen in the NVCS victim surveys. They’re also seen in neighborhood-level crime patterns, and for homicide specifically they’re seen in body counts. Black people are killed at much higher rates than white people, overwhelmingly in black neighborhoods, and it’s not because there’s a hidden epidemic of white people sneaking into black neighborhoods to kill black people and escaping totally undetected.

        All the of the evidence that we have, using multiple methodologies, points to the following facts about the demographics of crime in the US:

        1. Whites commit much more crime than Asians.
        2. Blacks commit much more crime than whites.
        3. Men commit much, much more crime than women.

        Non-black Hispanics commit a bit more crime than non-Hispanic whites, but the difference is much smaller than any of the above three.

        Social Justice (sic, and sic) activists love to attribute disparities in incarceration and police shootings to “white privilege,” but the statistics clearly show that Asians have the best outcomes. They’re 6% of the population and 1.2% of arrestees.

        Does racial bias on the part of police officers contribute at least in part to the higher arrest rates of black Americans? Maybe. It’s hard to say for sure. While the NCVS numbers show a large racial disparity, it’s not quite as large as the disparity in the UCR numbers. That could be due to racial bias, or it could be because the NCVS is skewed towards lesser violent crimes, most of which were not reported to the police.

        Bizarrely, the NCVS finds that blacks are underrepresented as victims of violent crime and whites are overrepresented. That is almost certainly not true, which suggests that the NCVS is either undersampling black crime victims, or black and white respondents have different thresholds for what they consider a violent crime. Violent crime being mostly intraracial, this would tend to bias the estimated proportion of black offenders in the NCVS downwards. Anyway, what we can say for sure is that any racial bias is far more subtle than you want it to be: The racial (and gender) crime gaps are large and real beyond a shadow of a doubt.

        This shouldn’t really need to be said, but this does not reflect badly on black people (or men) who are not criminals. Races are groups of distantly related people, not unified hive minds. The correct response to learning these facts is not to bring back slavery or send all black people back to Africa, or even to establish an Asian femocracy; it’s to stop blatantly engaging in normative sociology and jumping to the conclusion that the black-white gap in justice system outcomes (but not the white-Asian or male-fe—SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP YOU’RE RUINING THE NARRATIVE!) is due to racism.

        Note that this is entirely independent of the question of whether the police are shooting too many people. It seems eminently plausible that they are, though I’m less inclined to attribute this to malice than to suboptimal procedural practices that too often put them in situations where shooting appears to be the right choice. But the data simply do not leave much room for racial bias as a major contributor to the demographic composition of people killed by police.

        It’s also independent of the question of whether sub-lethal police brutality is applied in a racially discriminatory manner. I suspect that this is much harder to measure. What is police brutality? We know the obvious cases when we see them, but sometimes force is necessary to apprehend a suspect. It can be hard to determine how much force was necessary in any given case, especially in he-said-he-said situations. I’m told that sometimes police officers rough a suspect up as retaliation for, e.g. resisting arrest in a particularly troublesome manner. This is not okay! They should be disciplined and/or prosecuted for this! But if black suspects do this more often than white suspects, the stats will incorrectly suggest that officers are brutalizing suspects in a racially discriminatory manner. This kind of stuff is really hard to measure objectively.

        Too many people are dumping their brains on the floor and trampling them in a rush to prove that their hearts are in the right place. Willful denial of copious evidence does not make you a good person—it makes you the intellectual equal of Facebook anti-vaxxers.Report

        • Avatar Philip H in reply to Brandon Berg
          Ignored
          says:

          Bizarrely, the NCVS finds that blacks are underrepresented as victims of violent crime and whites are overrepresented. That is almost certainly not true, which suggests that the NCVS is either undersampling black crime victims, or black and white respondents have different thresholds for what they consider a violent crime.

          Does that data source account for the WILLINGNESS of victims to report crimes to “they system?” Its a well discussed and documented facts that rape statistics undercount actual rapes because rape victims underreport, and often do so because they believe the system will not hold their attackers accountable. Given that, and given what we see reported about distrust of police in minority communities, its likely that violent crime is underreported as well.Report

          • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Philip H
            Ignored
            says:

            The NCVS is based on household surveys conducted by the Census Bureau, not police reports. But yes, some degree of underreporting must be happening here for some reason. About half of all homicide victims are black. For obvious reasons the NCVS does not survey homicide victims, but it would be very strange if a demographic so heavily overrepresented in homicide victimization were actually underrepresented in non-lethal forms of violent victimization.Report

            • Avatar Philip H in reply to Brandon Berg
              Ignored
              says:

              no it wouldn’t. Scared people do things that are rational for them in the moment, and don’t always like to talk about it – especially to strangers or people they perceive as outgroup.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                I guess I’d want to know how much crime would have to be lied about for everything to be tied up.

                If it’s less than 10%, I’d think that you’re on pretty solid ground.

                If it’s more than 40%, I’d think that you’re not.

                How much lying (of omission/commission) are we talking about?

                (And I assume that we’re also assuming that there isn’t a lying phenomenon going on among other groups?)Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I guess I’d want to know how much crime would have to be lied about for everything to be tied up.

                That relationship goes the other way.

                The more undercounting of violent crime, the less “racist” the police (and the rest of the system) need to be to explain the difference in arrest rates and so forth.

                If violent crime rates match the murder rate (which we get by counting corpses), then there is very little room in the numbers for racism… and “very little” may be “negative”, meaning that it’s whites who are being more poorly served by the cops.Report

              • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                I said it would be strange if they were underrepresented in actual violent crime victimization, not if they were underrepresented in reporting of violent crime victimization. I already stipulated multiple times that there’s likely some underreporting; I just don’t know the exact reason. We can speculate, and come up with answers that make intuitive sense, but we don’t know for sure.Report

        • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Brandon Berg
          Ignored
          says:

          Really REALLY strong post and that link is worth reading in total.Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Brandon Berg
          Ignored
          says:

          Solve this riddle.

          A black person commits a crime.
          The police arrest a black person.

          There is racial injustice in this outcome.Report

  7. Avatar GrewUpInCalifornia
    Ignored
    says:

    Today I saw in the news from my hometown in California, some yahoos in a jeep flying a huge Trump flag run down two women in the street. I am ashamed to say that the people in the jeep attend my alma mater. The day before that, I saw the same thing in another town nearby.

    I’m from a poor rural neighborhood in California. Yes, we did need more policing. People are terrorized by gangs, drug dealers, and wild dogs (yes, I said wild dogs). Most of the people I grew up with are dead or in prison.

    But I have also seen first hand the sort of policing we *do* get. Unjustified searches. Harassment for sitting on our front porches. Car stops for completely bogus reasons. Open racial and ethnic profiling, and frankly, racist abuse. Extremely lazy responses to emergency calls.

    So, yeah, more *good* policing is needed. Not the kind we are getting.

    But OP is right: sometimes it just takes a few bad apples to bring down a neighborhood, and most people sigh in relief when they get carted away.Report

    • Avatar Pinky in reply to GrewUpInCalifornia
      Ignored
      says:

      Not to be cruel here, but the protesters were in the street walking through traffic. I’ve been in that position, being trapped in traffic with my elderly parents in the car while a protest? riot? broke out. I would avoid running my car at them, just like I would for anyone walking on the street, but if I felt threatened I would use the vehicle as a weapon.

      I’ve also been at my share of protests, rallies, marches. It’s not my thing, though. I don’t trust righteous anger, especially when I’m the angry one. If something should be changed, you should be able to talk through the problem and the solution without relying on emotion. There are very few demonstrations of support; they’re mostly demonstrations of numbers with an implication of force.Report

  8. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    This goes back to the whole High-Trust/High-Collaboration thing.

    It’s okay to want a high collaboration society. Hell, it’s even nice to try to demand it… but if you don’t have high trust, you won’t have high collaboration.

    You can try to shame people into acting like they’re collaborating and you may even get them to make noises like they’re collaborating, but the second you turn around, they’re going to defect or just stop collaborating or, if very nice, collaborate a little less enthusiastically.

    You can try to physically bully them into collaborating but that works less well than shaming (and you’d really best watch your back from then on).

    But if you move away from high trust, you’re not going to get high collaboration.

    No matter how nice that high collaboration would be, in theory.

    Occasionally, you see counter-offers made. “I’ll collaborate… if you demonstrate trustworthiness” and that leads to all kinds of problems. “What? You don’t trust me? Then that means that you’re defecting!” and we’re off to the races again.

    How to move from a lower level of trust to a higher level? Well… I’d suggest the whole offers/counter-offers thing and treating it seriously as an effort to collaborate rather than as a de facto defection.

    Otherwise, we’re going to have divorce or war.Report

    • Avatar InMD in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      Sometimes I wonder if our governance would be more pragmatic if we stopped with the whole ‘one nation’ thing and looked at ourselves as more of a modern day Holy Roman Empire. But maybe that’s just another path to civil war.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to InMD
        Ignored
        says:

        In the past, when I’ve suggested “Federalism For Real This Time”, I get told that that would have bad consequences. Worse than what we have now.

        I’m not convinced.Report

        • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          What is “Federalism for real?”Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Dark Matter
            Ignored
            says:

            You know how it’s possible to read the 2nd Amendment and come to the conclusion that it’s about the right of the people to own guns?

            Take that mindset into reading the 9th and 10th Amendments.

            (It involves a radical re-interpretation of “interstate commerce” and will result in Wickard no longer being operative, among other things.)Report

            • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Jaybird
              Ignored
              says:

              (There are some advantages to this kind of federalism but I’m going to skip that because this thread is about the police).

              In terms of the police, we already have this system. Control/punishment of the police is mostly local. Most are well run. I expect local-police culture does a lot of heavy lifting here.

              Every now and then one of the nastier groups ends up in the news.

              One of the problems for the reformers is reforming the police isn’t a serious concern for most of the country.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                So let’s limit it to local police. What does the Wikipedia say about “Qualified Immunity“?

                Jump to search
                Qualified immunity is a legal doctrine in United States federal law that shields government officials from being sued for discretionary actions performed within their official capacity, unless their actions violated “clearly established” federal law or constitutional rights.

                That’s how Federalism might address *SOME* of this.

                (No, it won’t address everything. I’m not trying to make things perfect, I’m trying to make things better.)Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t think anyone is arguing that qualified immunity covers sitting on someone’s neck until they’re dead.

                Now it does cover things like stop and frisk, but that’s the cops obeying their political masters so it’s a different problem.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m not arguing whether qualified immunity covers sitting on someone’s neck until they’re dead.

                I’m arguing how a centralized attitude toward law enforcement resulted in Qualified Immunity at a Federal Level.

                I am pleased that Justin Amash is introducing legislation to overhaul (if not remove) QI… but if you were wondering how we’ve got a Federalized attitude toward police despite police being run locally…

                Well, the answer is in QI.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                If the problem here is an centralized “attitude”, I’ll sign on to that argument.

                Of course in my neck of the woods we call that attitude “racism”.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                If that’s what it takes you to get on board, awesome.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Now you need to show how Federalism would combat racist attitudes.

                History doesn’t seem to be your friend here.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, my assumption is that we’re using the word “attitude” somewhat differently. When I said “attitude” when I said “I’m arguing how a centralized attitude toward law enforcement resulted in Qualified Immunity at a Federal Level”, I was using the term to mean something similarly to “having adopted the doctrine”.

                I see the system as being structurally racist and the attitudes of the people within the system are very likely to be open-minded and not racist at all. It’s the machine that they’re driving that happens to be racist, structurally.

                When you say “racist attitudes”, I get the feeling that you’re talking about personal racism. “White people and Black People and Miscellaneous are all different (and some are better than others).”

                And while that is, indeed, an ugly attitude…

                I am talking about the Federal imposition of Qualified Immunity that made it impossible for states to properly discipline police officers and how I want to return to a system where individual states can disciple police officers.

                And I understand that you want to talk about racists and racism and that’s great.

                But I want to talk about how a strong central government gave us QI and taking that tool away.

                I suppose if the only way to get you on board with that is to talk about how bad racists are, sure. Racists are bad.

                Can we get rid of QI yet? (Justin Amash has introduced legislation to get severely blunt it. If you live in Pelosi’s district, please tell her to support it. If you know people in Pelosi’s district, please tell them to call her office and tell her to support it!)Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                I actually think there’s a pretty good argument that it does. The tactic is in the manual and my educated guess is there is no clearly established law against it.

                Which also gets into this silly thread you’re pulling on. Yeah it goes beyond the police. Way beyond them. But the idea that they’re just pawns with no seat at the table or influence in how these policies are made is absurd. There are lots of people making choices here. That means a lot of responsibility to go around, whereas if I’m reading you right it sounds like you’d see it as absolving people of their own personal conduct.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                Yeah, its absolutely true that deep seated societal ills have a lot of moving parts and variables.

                Because the racist cop is part of a wide social circle who accept and condone his behavior, and those social contacts each have a network who support that behavior, and their attitudes express themselves in all the things they do from voting to consumer choices.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                In this case, we’re talking about a Supreme Court-invented doctrine that prevents cops from being disciplined at the local level.

                So even if the wide social circle encounters behavior that is so egregious that they’re inclined to punish it, the Supreme Court, at the federal level, discovered a doctrine preventing this social circle from disciplining the cop in question.

                Which is something we should get rid of.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                One thing to keep in mind with this topic Jay is that states can still enact their own laws governing standards and liability within their jurisdictions. State high courts can also interpret their own state constitutions in ways that are more protective of individuals than the US constitution. Obviously doing things at the federal level is good and to be applauded but it shouldn’t constrain how people think about problem solving.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                The tactic is in the manual…

                My expectation is that if this tactic is in the manual then it suggests strongly keeping it up for 3 minutes after the subject is unconscious will cause death. That is unlikely to be the suggested course of action.

                That means a lot of responsibility to go around, whereas if I’m reading you right it sounds like you’d see it as absolving people of their own personal conduct.

                Depends on what “personal conduct” means here. If it means “sitting on someone’s neck”, then no, I’m not cool with that and I most certainly don’t “absolve” it.

                If it means the community has decided “something must be done”, they crank up law enforcement, and more people in community X get arrested than in community Y?

                I don’t see how that’s the responsibility of a beat cop in community X. I especially don’t see how a beat cop (in any community) is supposed to arrest people according to the overall racial percentages.

                But the idea that they’re just pawns with no seat at the table or influence in how these policies are made is absurd.

                My expectation is the police are always pushing for policies which are good for the police, and a police union increases that. I’m not sure where to go after that or what you’re trying to suggest.Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      You’re not going to get high-trust and high-collaboration when so many political careers depend on maintaining a lack of it.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to George Turner
        Ignored
        says:

        I’ve tried to stop saying “Divorce or War”. Vaguely successful, I think.

        Trying to stop thinking it has not been anywhere near successful.Report

      • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to George Turner
        Ignored
        says:

        The problem isn’t that the political class doesn’t want it. The problem is we’re multi-cultural and different sub-cultures have different levels of violence, education, etc.

        Now the cool part is we can migrate. My Dad moved his family 1000+ miles away to get away from various relatives thus I grew up without learning the ins and outs of the drug culture and various new age nonsense.

        The bad news is this self segregation concentrates poverty. I moved to the best school system I could for my kid’s education by checking on-line test scores. This implies a certain level of resources.Report

      • Avatar Pinky in reply to George Turner
        Ignored
        says:

        Politics can be a lagging indicator on this one. A lot of people claim to be high- or low-trust but live differently. A society can sometimes surprise you with the amount of good or bad will it’s built up under the surface. You can tell me I should be angry every day, and maybe I’ll vote as if I am, but if I get in the habit of holding doors and saying “please” and “thank you”, the politician or even the laws he enacts can only do so much damage.Report

  9. Avatar greginak
    Ignored
    says:

    Currently events are going poorly at the white house. Peaceful protesters being tear gassed so he can speak and barr is present to add whatever the F he is supposed to add. Authority and menace i guess. A big show of force for TV. Sickening shit that shouldn’t, but will be condoned by many freedom lovers.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater in reply to greginak
      Ignored
      says:

      Trump is unleashing the kraken power of the US military to restore lawn order!!

      Well, he’s encouraged every Governor to use the national guard to restore peace anyway.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to greginak
      Ignored
      says:

      Are we still in “Peaceful protesters” territory?Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Yes. Most have been. Reports from DC said the gassed protesters were peaceful. So yeah.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        We’re in the Police Riot stage, that’s for sure. Lots of peaceful protestors being fired on. There’s a whoooole lotta MPs on the streets in DC.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater
          Ignored
          says:

          I don’t doubt that for a minute.

          But I’ve seen enough Reports that report that “apart from a handful of protestors with rocks and Molotov cocktails, the protest was peaceful!”

          There aren’t a whole lot of groups out here that strike me as having earned the benefit of the doubt.Report

          • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
            Ignored
            says:

            I can’t square the second sentence with the third sentence.

            Are you saying that protestors have, or haven’t, earned the benefit of the doubt?

            I mean, I’m not sure I’m capable of determining what public opinion is on the protestors by watching live feeds of them doing their thing, if that’s the question.

            {One thing I will say is that Dr Fauci needs to provide some official guidance on distancing protocols while protesting.}Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater
              Ignored
              says:

              On days 1 and 2, I’d say that the protesters had earned the benefit of the doubt.

              At this point, if someone said that the protesters were violent, I’d say “okay, that sounds plausible”.

              If someone said “the protesters were peaceful”, I’d wait for a second report.

              Which doesn’t mean that I trust the cops when it comes to what happened (their bodycams malfunctioned, I’m sure).

              Nor the military when the military showed up.

              I’m saying that I literally have zero idea what happened and hearing a report explaining that these protesters were peaceful ones is not sufficient to get me to conclude that these protesters were peaceful ones.

              (For example, there were reports (with footage) of people engaging in less-than perfectly peaceful protest at the White House last night. Twitter made a big deal of it and the White House turning its lights off and Trump hiding in his bunker like Adolf Hitler. But, tonight, the protesters were peaceful? That would be interesting. I’d need more reports.)Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Ahh. From what I gather … there are groups with well defined boundaries who either walk the streets or occupy public parks and *are* peacefully protesting. Then there are other people who sorta mill around and are merely making a presence of themselves. Then there’s a third type of group, which is setting shit on fire and breaking store front windows, who seem to emerge from the mill-arounders. Seems to me that most of the people in the mill-around/shit-kicker group are white.

                I couldn’t say what the breakdown in numbers is between the legitimate +/- organized protestors, the unorganized protestors, and the rioters though.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Just from my perspective here in LA, it is critical to understand that the protesters are not the looters.

                If you have access to the news footage of Long Beach or Santa Monica yesterday you can see it clearly that as the protesters are sitting or marching, a few blocks away organized groups of looters drive up in cars and smash stuff.
                In other words, the looters didn’t have any connection to the protests, but were opportunistic scavengers taking advantage of the chaos.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                …the looters didn’t have any connection to the protests, but…
                were opportunistic scavengers taking advantage of the chaos.

                One of law enforcement’s issues with protest is they expect chaos to cause looting.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, then. Let me be perfectly clear and say that I support, whole-heartedly, the peaceful protesters and I oppose, whole-heartedly, the organized looters, vandals, and agents provocateurs.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Don’t stop the peaceful protesters.
                Shoot the looters.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m not confident in the ability of the cops to discern the difference.

                Plus there’s this whole thing where their body cameras keep going on the fritz.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m not confident in the ability of the cops to discern the difference.

                Well there’s that. Can’t say I disagree…

                But protesting isn’t supposed to be easy and it will mean more, and prove their point, if their lives are on the line.

                It will also mean a lot to the job creators if law enforcement has their backs. Further all these upset POC won’t be better off if their jobs and economic base is destroyed.

                Shoot a few looters and you won’t need to shoot the rest (because they’ll stop) and then you can let the protesters do their thing in peace.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Other people have suggested that the looters arm themselves to protect them from a tyrannical and overbearing government.

                I think that’s a terrible idea.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Not merely the looters, Chip.

                The suggestion was that the people taking pictures of George Floyd being killed by the cops ought to have been allowed to be armed too.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Uh huh.
                When the police are threatened, then what happens?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Do you want recent examples of groups of well-armed people visiting, for example, the State Capital?

                I have some ready.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m looking out my window at Humvees and National Guardsmen, responding to police who felt threatened.

                But as to your example-

                You really don’t see how extra-judicial groups of armed people who take it upon themselves to be a law unto themselves, is a direct threat to liberty and freedom?

                Who voted for them? What makes them legitimate, as opposed to just a gang of thugs?

                Suppose they demand you pay a tax to support their operations, or confiscate your car for their uses.

                I may not have mentioned, but on Saturday night my building was attacked and looted.
                I watched from the fire escape as some guy broke the window of the store on the ground floor; Some good Samaritan positioned himself in front of the window and implored the mob not to loot.
                I went down to join him and we stood facing the mob for an hour or so quaking in our boots.

                A mob that assumes itself to be the law is the most powerful threat to liberty there is.

                There was nothing, nothing whatsoever to stop them from killing me and burning our building, other than their own whims which turned and wheeled on a dime. Eventually we withdrew and the store was looted but not burned.

                These are the people you are talking about arming; the people who are sure that they are righteous, and have license to kill and destroy for their cause.

                When you imagine armed populace, you see a Les Mis fantasy;
                I see Kristalnacht.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                You really don’t see how extra-judicial groups of armed people who take it upon themselves to be a law unto themselves, is a direct threat to liberty and freedom?

                I do see them as a direct threat to liberty and freedom.

                That’s why I think that I (and you, and Black People) should be allowed to easily acquire firearms.

                I have no idea how you can look at the last week and think “only extra-judicial groups of armed people who take it upon themselves to be a law unto themselves should be armed”.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                And so to combat the armed extra-judicial mobs, we should form another armed extra-judicial mob?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                I think we should certainly rethink whether only the armed extra-judicial mobs should be the only ones allowed to be armed.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Who is doing this “allowing” and how is that enforced?

                You aren’t outlining some end game to this arms race, or what sort of outcome you want to result.

                You want a high trust collaborative society to flow from the barrel of a gun?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                No.

                But neither do I think it will flow from people arguing that only extra-judicial mobs should be armed.

                And if I have to ask “which is worse?”, it’s the “only *MY* gang should be allowed to be armed” position.

                And I say that as someone who keeps up with protection payments, lives in the part of town that has people that keep up with their protection payments, and, perhaps most importantly, I *LOOK* like someone who keeps up with protection payments.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Who here is saying that only extra-judicial mobs should be armed?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                The people who look at the cops breaking up the protests and go on to argue “yeah, I don’t need to rethink my views on how we need more gun control”.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I have no idea what you are even talking about.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Jaybird, I think Chip doesn’t get it that when you say “armed extra-judicial mobs” here, you’re talking about the cops.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                That’s even more incoherent.

                And I am a veteran of Occupy twinkly finger rap sessions, so that’s a pretty high bar to clear.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                Once they put on the uniform they become agents of The State. Since all crimes are crimes against The State, how can The State commit a crime against itself? It can’t. Therefore cops are incapable of committing crimes.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                If you’re going to whip out the Illegitimate State argument, you need to do the work of defining what is legitimate and what isn’t.

                Otherwise you’re just replaying the old jokes about how a conservative is a liberal who gets mugged.

                That is, its all “Eff the Pigs” until your car gets broken into.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                …you *ARE* aware that protests are being broken up, Chip?

                I mean, I know you’re aware of the news.

                “you need to do the work of defining what is legitimate and what isn’t”

                I’m good with just pointing at something like the death of George Floyd at the agency of the cops and saying “yeah, that’s well outside of what is legitimate”.

                And then we can look at the institution that had the cop whose knee was on George Floyd’s neck and ask what parts of the system kept him being a cop despite multiple complaints and get rid of those parts of the system either through reform if that proves possible and getting rid of it entirely if reform is not possible.

                And refusing to acknowledge the moral authority of the system in the meantime.

                And refusing to accept the status quo.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                “Refusing to acknowledge the moral authority of the system” is a vacuity I don’t accept even from my fellow liberals.

                When the state prosecutes Officer Chauvin, does it have moral authority?
                Does its moral authority just come and go?
                Is there even such a thing as “The System”?

                By presenting government as a singular entity of a morally illegitimate System, you are creating, how did you call it, a
                Manichean world view and seeing The Other Side as Bad.
                And you can do whatever you want to Bad people. Even be authoritarian over them.
                Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                When the state prosecutes Officer Chauvin, does it have moral authority?

                No. It’s doing so out of self-preservation.

                Does its moral authority just come and go?

                It’s gone.

                Is there even such a thing as “The System”?

                If this is a situation that would not change despite several elections of The Good Party, then I’d say that, yes, there is a system in place.

                I’m looking at the morally illegitimate system and saying “yeah, the enforcement arm of the morally illegitimate system probably shouldn’t be allowed to be the only group that has guns”.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I will say this in all sincerity, if you are going to recite their talking points, you should really spend some time reading up on the 60’s radicals like the Weathermen and their unhappy history.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                You mean like Bill Ayers?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Start here:
                https://www.pbs.org/independentlens/weatherunderground/movement.html

                Note the quotation at the top of the page.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                There are stories bouncing around of people doing what you did in front of their loot-able businesses. Basically if they were armed the mob went somewhere else and if they were unarmed it didn’t.

                Now we could simply have the police shoot the looters. That would be ugly but maybe less ugly than people like you standing in front of mobs.

                I made that suggestion days ago because I expected us to end up where we are. There is a HUGE cost to chaos. One of those costs is the whole “the police can’t protect me so I need to arm up and get friends who are also armed”.Report

  10. Avatar Chip Daniels
    Ignored
    says:

    Two weeks ago:
    “Wear a mask to Costco? TYRANNY! Ima Grab Mah Gun!!”

    Today:
    “Bring in the troops. Dominate them! Crush the citizens into submission!”Report

  11. Avatar Kazzy
    Ignored
    says:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/radleybalko/status/1267813383929135106

    I’ll give anyone here $100 if they can muster even a semi-coherent defense of what’s described in these Tweets.Report

    • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Kazzy
      Ignored
      says:

      Who ordered tear gas? Was it directed at priests, or was it used somewhere else and came in on the wind? Is anyone else reporting this, someone not part of the protests?

      Why would it be deployed? Are there riots in DC? From what the FB posts suggest, this is a local law enforcement issue, which would be directed by DC Metro police. The President (no matter who is in office) has his own security detail (uniformed Secret Service), was it them? If it was metro PD acting for Trump, were they given an order to, and if so, who gave it?

      Is there any sort of news coverage of the action, or are we going on retweets of facebook posts?

      (this isn’t me defending anything, it is me looking for more information.)Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Aaron David
        Ignored
        says:

        There are videos showing military police using force and tear gas to move obviously peaceful protestors out of the way so Trump could access the church. Who commands the MPs? I don’t know. What authority does Trump to have to clear a space for a photo op? Seemingly infinite.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
          Ignored
          says:

          From what I understand, the President has jurisdiction over Warshington DC that he does not have over any of the states (in theory).Report

          • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Jaybird
            Ignored
            says:

            I may be wrong, but doubt that he has that kind of authority over the District generally. Eg, an order to empty an arbitrary block is probably unlawful. But… if he decides to walk across the street outside the White House — or a street anywhere else in the US — the Secret Service probably have the necessary authority to clear the area as part of their protective role, and the military the same for the Commander in Chief.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Michael Cain
              Ignored
              says:

              Is it Congress, then, that has such jurisdiction?

              I know that Washington DC is different from every other state and it’s because of who has authority over it.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                The POTUS is the CIC of the DC National Guard, not the mayor (most National Guard CIC is the state governor). US military is prohibited from engaging in law enforcement inside the US per Posse Comitatus Act but National Guard can.Report

              • Avatar Philip H in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                Sadly the Insurgency Act would tell you otherwise, but only if one of three conditions exist – one being a governor’s request.Report

            • Avatar veronica d in reply to Michael Cain
              Ignored
              says:

              Does the church have any property rights here? Can he just order his goons to teargas the priests, scatter them, and then walk onto church property for his photo op? Because that is what he did.

              If he decided he wanted to beat off in my living room, could he just send armed thugs to drag me from my apartment so he could do that? Would it change if he wanted to do that in my backyard? (Actually, I rent, so I guess the backyard would be the purview of my landlord, but same concept.)

              This is a big test for the libertarians (or libertarian adjacent) on this forum. It seems Oscar and JB are mostly getting it right, at least in terms of core values. Even if we disagree on specifics, I can see that they are as offended by this authoritarian jackassery as I am.

              Some other “libertarians” here — not to mention the hard conservatives — some people just love “strong men,” provided he is attacking targets they hate. It shows through.

              #####

              Over the past decade there was a big shift among a number of former libertarians, who ended up shifting toward the alt-right. This makes no sense ideologically. You can’t really understand this by looking at that dumb “political compass” thing. However, it made perfect sense to me. In fact, I wasn’t surprised at all, being former libertarian myself. I kind of understood the zeitgeist. I can’t put it into words, but there was a “core” to these people that fit into libertarianism at one point in history, but that also fit comfortable into authoritarianism later.

              Funny thing, I don’t have a name for this core, but it definitely exists. I see it in my former brother-in-law, who was a big time “techbro libertarian” type, who quickly morphed into a raging Trumpaloo the moment he could. He’s not the only one. I see it in a lot of “guys like him.”Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to veronica d
                Ignored
                says:

                Yeah, I stopped being Libertarian back in 2015.

                I mean, I still understand and have much sympathy for the Libertarian position (and will be voting 3rd party, again, come November)… but Libertarianism makes a lot of very bad assumptions about culture and, as it turns out, those assumptions just don’t work outside of a very, very narrow cultural context.

                As for the zeitgeist, I’d just say that it comes down to a Manichean world view and seeing The Other Side as Bad.

                And you can do whatever you want to Bad people. Even be authoritarian over them.Report

              • Avatar veronica d in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                As for the zeitgeist, I’d just say that it comes down to a Manichean world view and seeing The Other Side as Bad.

                And you can do whatever you want to Bad people. Even be authoritarian over them.

                Well sure. Bootlickers have always existed. The question is this: what attracted this specific group to libertarianism in the first place, followed by fascism?

                For example, back in high school, I knew a few dudes who went full fash skinhead. They were young and troubled. They were trying out ideologies and landed on that one. It’s not terribly surprising to me. However, the trajectory of kid->libertarian->fash is a bit more complex. What is that middle step doing there?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to veronica d
                Ignored
                says:

                Libertarianism is one of the two major Third Ways that people encounter when they realize that both the Democrats and Republicans are whited sepulchers.

                You’ve got the Commies… and the Libertarians.

                If explaining “that wasn’t *REALLY* Communism… here’s a book of Film Criticism by Trotsky!” between bong hits doesn’t appeal to you, well, the only other real option is Libertarianism.

                (Libertarianism is also more into the whole “sense of humor” thing than the Commies are.)

                So if you’re really into the whole “nope, the Dems/Reps aren’t for me!” thing, you can performatively join the Commies or performatively join the Libertarians.

                There’s also the getting laid thing. Commies probably get laid more than the Libertarians (they can hardly get laid *LESS*) so the whole Libertarianism is a good place to hang out when you’re not going to get laid anyway. (Might as well read that reading list again!)Report

              • Avatar veronica d in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                There’s also the getting laid thing.

                That’s a big part of it. In fact, I think “elevatorgate,” although nominally limited to the atheist movement, had broader social repercussions among “a certain set of men.”

                Note, by the time a “social thing” has congealed into something we can name, it already exists as “a thing.” It will have existed for a while, lurking among various subcultures.

                It was on Slashdot. It was on Usenet, back in the day, but no one had a name for it. Back then all of our mental energy went into linux-versus-window or atheism-versus-theism. We couldn’t quite see these other fractures growing, but they were there. I remember.

                I’m sorry this is so vague, but the words we use to name “social things” are by necessity vague, because people are so complex. Likewise, the “web of causality” is complex, and “social things” are composed of billions of discrete events, specific social interactions, specific thoughts in people’s heads, over time. It’s like a dance with a million dancers. Patterns emerge. Sometimes you can name them.

                But yeah, “elevatorgate” was a pivotal moment that both motivated and revealed something very rotten among “a certain set of men.”

                Anyway, as I said, I can’t quite name the thing, but the fact that so many nominally libertarian dudes quickly jumped on board with the alt-right is quite unsurprising.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to veronica d
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, there is also the issue of Libertarianism winning a handful of major issues.

                How many states have legal pot, now? Check out this map. More than 30 states have legal medicinal (and that’s not counting the ones with “CBD oil only”… which gets you to 39 states with legal medicinal). Gay marriage? Supreme Court took care of that.

                What other Libertarian battles are left to win? Age of consent? Auditing the Fed? Police reform?

                With those battles behind us, there are now new battles. A lot of Social Justice arguments, according to a more pure libertarianism anyway, should be outside of the jurisdiction of the state. Hey, it shouldn’t be illegal but it shouldn’t be illegal to criticize it but it shouldn’t be illegal to criticize the criticizers but it shouldn’t be illegal to (and so on).

                But what if you want to take a side? Well, you can either jump to the Socially Aware Side or the Alt-Right.

                If you like to read, the Alt-Right had a required reading list for a while there. The Socially Aware side peaked with The Invisible Knapsack but the situation is now so fluid that I’m not sure of any required reading list anymore. Follow the hashtags, I guess.

                So if you love systems and you love taking a side, you’re not going to be a libertarian anymore. They’re too busy saying that people shouldn’t be forced to do stuff.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to veronica d
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m not sure private property comes into. As far as I can tell, the feds cleared Lafayette Park and public spaces (roads, sidewalk) adjacent to the park. The president appears to have confined himself to the sidewalk in front of the church. Lafayette Park falls under the National Park Service. At least some NPS people were present.

                Can the NPS clear national park lands and adjacent public spaces on a whim? My experience is with the big western parks, but my opinion is yes, they have that authority. Can they call on other federal agencies to provide muscle? Yes, absolutely. Intrusion on private property as necessary to secure the park and public space is probably lawful.

                Dumb as a brick? Yep, no question. Unlawful? Probably not.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Michael Cain
                Ignored
                says:

                There is a vast difference between clearing public spaces and gassing priests to take over a church.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Yes, it’s stupid and dumb and the wrong thing to do in so many ways. But it is unlikely to be found unlawful.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Michael Cain
                Ignored
                says:

                RE: it is unlikely to be found unlawful.

                I was trying to point out the level of bias in the reporting and evaluation of his actions.

                That bias is unlikely to stop at Trump, we get hints of it when protests are called “mostly non-violent” and so on.

                If you have one guy in there breaking stuff and/or setting fires, then the police need to step in… and the conflict starts with the reporting being that the cops are at fault.Report

        • Avatar veronica d in reply to Kazzy
          Ignored
          says:

          A child will push boundaries until his parents stop him, as will Trump. He is a narcissist, a spoiled five year old in an adult body. He also has an enormous authoritarian streak. He will push, testing the waters, until he is stopped.

          Yesterday he ordered federal officers to attack peaceful protesters with teargas so he could be photographed. Thus he discovered he can order federal officers to attack innocent people without consequences. He knows that boundary does not exist.Report

        • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Kazzy
          Ignored
          says:

          OK, that is a bit more info. Do you have any links to the videos? And do they come solely form the protestors, or did anyone else film it?

          Looking around online, I see pics of Trump in front of a church, being posted by both left and right leaning accounts*, and while the left leaning mention the teargas, the right leaning mention church desecration. So, I don’t know as neither are showing what they are telling.

          As for who commands the MPs, that would be depending on if they are National Guard or active duty troops I think. Or, if they are Police in whatever they wear during riots and such? And while I have heard calls to bring in NG in places along with actual deployments in other places, I haven’t heard that about DC and don’t think they have their own NG. All of that to say, I got no idea, and maybe someone else can speak to this.

          *as a side note, it is funny how people will use the same pic for radically diferent messages.Report

          • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Aaron David
            Ignored
            says:

            Here is one video, though wasn’t the best one I’ve seen (I’m having trouble locating that; I’ll keep looking):
            https://edition.cnn.com/videos/politics/2020/06/01/white-house-protesters-donald-trump-white-speech-sot-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/this-week-in-politics/

            I imagine that the overhead shots are from CNN cameras.

            The video I saw showed a row of MP nearly face-to-face with a row of protestors, standing with their arms up. There seemed to be some sort of order from the back of the police to move forward and they did, knocking protestors back. Protestors began to run and scramble and you could see tear gas going off.

            There was indeed damage to the church. I saw graffiti in the video I saw and read reports of it being burned during an earlier protest.

            I’m not laying this all at Trump’s feet. He may have simply said, “I want to go to the church,” and others made that happen for him. But I don’t see anything that makes this defensible. Folks were protesting, the vast majority of them peacefully. Trump wanted a photo op at a church. The latter was achieved by military police deploying tear gas on the protestors. Trump later described it as “domination”. So even if he was uninvolved in the decision making, he celebrated it.

            This is truly, truly ugly. The leaders of the church are appalled by Trump’s actions. What did his actions serve? And at what cost? To me, the answer to the first are “his ego” and “his election bid” and the answer to the latter is, “Oh so much.”Report

            • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Kazzy
              Ignored
              says:

              Indeed, this is ugly. Riots and the responce to them always are. And we have seen random police officers shooting peaceful observers with teargas, despicably.

              But, to your point about looking for better video, this wasn’t of MP’s at a church, but police at the White House(?). So, was there damage and rioting there? We have not been shown that, and I would suspect that there would be video of it (from either side) by this point. Doesn’t mean it didn’t happen, but that there is some other factor involved.

              As far as CNN goes, they have shown over the last several years to have zero credibility as far as anything involving the president goes. Could they be showing selectively edited video? Possibly. Again, without secondary confirmation, I am putting anything by the “resistance” in that bucket.

              I am curious as to what the church leaders say, in toto. As while I agree with them about being appalled by the possibility of these actions, I, again, would like to know more. Because saying “the vast majority of them peacefully” implies that some were not peaceful. So, how unpeaceful were they? Did it warrent teargas? That is a judgement call, so I would like to see more of that, what would go into making such a call. If it is indeed as cut and dried as you feel it is, that would definatly be a black mark against Trump. But, I need to know more.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Aaron David
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m a little unclear which aspects of the story you’re questioning:
                1) DC police vs MP vs some other body?
                2) Protestors were non-violent at the time of tear gas being deployed?
                3) Tear gas deployed in support of Trump’s church visit?Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                All three. The video you first posted shows Police, With maybe two (?) MPs as far as I could tell. It did show police clearing the street, but nothing I saw indacted that this was specifically (or generally) for Trump. It does look like a stupid photo op, but as far as the religeous leaders and there statements, yes, he should have let them know he was comming out of common certousy, so kind of a douche move there.

                But the important part to me at least, is nothing was shown that connects Trump to the tear gassing. Nothing that shows they were in the same place, nothing that shows that they relate to each other, nothing.

                You said, “Folks were protesting, the vast majority of them peacefully.” That implys that some of them were not acting peacefully. So, is that the reason for teargas? Is it a coindedence that he two actions (gas, Trump) were at the same time, possibly at diferent locatioins? To me at least, there is still a whole lot of unknowns.

                Maybe I am wrong here, but I would think there would be more.

                (by the way, thanks for the links, interesting stuff from the guardian, especially about the religous folk.)Report

              • Avatar PhiliP H in reply to Aaron David
                Ignored
                says:

                if you really wanted to know google would be your friend and you wouldn’t be asking us what was up.

                That aside the timeline is that as he was speaking in the Rose Garden at 6:40is EDT last night, and combined force of uniformed Secret Service, Park Police (who are in Interior via the Park Service) and DC National Guard (likely the MP’s referred to in the videos and posts) began to move people out of Lafayette Square and off the St. Johns Church property – which the church owns – using tear gas, rubber bullets and horse mounted officers. No advance warning was apparently given and no video showed anything other then a throng of chanting protesters. after they were cleared trump walked tot eh church’s front and took the picture with the upside down backwards Bible he was holding. The Rector of the Church, and the presiding Bishop of DC have issued repeated statements since then that they had no idea he was going to do any of this.

                Separately, between 200 and 250 actual MP’s from Fort Bragg arrived in DC yesterday to supposedly “support” local law enforcement. The Tropps can be called up directly by the WH because DC is not a state (!) and so no governor needs to be consulted under the Insurrection Act. Whether they remain in support roles remains to be seen. Mayor Bowser has condemned both moves as instigating not deescalating.Report

              • Avatar JS in reply to PhiliP H
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t think anyone is really able to grasp what Trump did last night. Not it’s fully, Trumpian glory.

                Under orders from the President, federal officers employed violence to drive off citizens and commandeer private property from it’s owners, who were also driven off via tear gas and rubber bullets.

                Federal agents, acting under order the President, seized a church by violence, drove off pastors and priests, all for a photo op that lasted maybe ten minutes.

                That church was chosen because it was “nearby”, people dispersed via violence because it was convenient, and at no point were the rights of protesters or the owners of the property taken into consideration.

                Sure, it was only for “ten minutes”. It’s still not only illegal, but blatantly unconstitutional, and literally the embodiment of every conservative terror dream of the last 50 years — the big bad federal government came with guns to seize a Church. To steal private property, assault good, god-fearing Christians, all for minor political gain.

                How is this not a political shitstorm to end all shitstorms? Like the whole “Commandeered the church” bit is just sort of…glossed over. The fact that, of the people ‘driven off’ by tear gas and rubber bullets, were pastors of the church.

                Instead, the focus seems to be on “who authorized tear gassing and rubber bullets on protesters before curfew”, which is a whole crime in of itself, and the whole bit were — and I cannot stress this enough — a house of worship was seized by armed federal agents solely on Presidential whim, it’s priests driven away — is just sort of…ignored.

                Maybe it’s just too unbelievable.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to JS
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t think anyone is really able to grasp what Trump did last night. Not it’s fully, Trumpian glory.

                I agree. I think it’s hard to comprehend because what Trump did for a photo op to prove he isn’t a bunkerbitch isn’t a surprise to his critics but *should* cut right to the heart of his most ardent supporters.

                In the logic of today’s politics, he owned the cons to own the libs. And that will take a bit of time to process. The earth just moved under conservatives feet. Did they notice?Report

              • Avatar JS in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                I cannot reiterate this enough — he literally appears to have used violent means to seize a church. For a photo op.

                Actual priests or pastors (I don’t know which Episcopalians have) were tear gassed and driven off, the Bishop said they were never informed the President wanted to be there (which means they weren’t asked for permission) and he was clearly in their courtyard on their property.

                This is literally the evangelical nightmare scenario. Jackbooted federal thugs! Invading a church! Committing violence against the faithful! All for purely worldly gain — and not even much worldly gain!

                How is the religious right not on fire in fury right now?Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to Aaron David
                Ignored
                says:

                “…they have shown over the last several years to have zero credibility…”

                This is my problem. I don’t trust anyone to give me the story. Not just because it’s fluid, or complicated. I don’t trust that anyone *wants* to give me the story.Report

            • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Kazzy
              Ignored
              says:

              Ok, this is something I just came across, searching the Google:

              Park Police say DC protesters cleared because they attacked cops, not because of Trump church visit: report
              https://www.foxnews.com/politics/dc-protesters-trump-church-visit

              And, yes that is FOX, which is every bit as credible as the Guardian.

              And here is a series of tweets from local news giving more information backing this up:
              https://twitter.com/AugensteinWTOP/status/1267791336146636800Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Aaron David
                Ignored
                says:

                There is some helpful context there and the whole situation seems to be a clusterfuck with a near impossibility of identifying “the truth”. I’m not all that interested in parsing out tear gas versus smoke canisters or whatever, but maybe that is my own ignorance of their difference.

                I never laid the cops’ actions at Trump’s feet. But what I do lay at his feet is a complete abdication of leadership.

                Again, why did he goto the church? What purpose did that send? Is he actually interested in making this situation better? Or is he interested in his own agenda?

                He has zero sense of optics beyond what images he can see of himself on the news stations that will fawn over him no matter what he does.

                Maybe it is spun, but he has allowed the situation to be spun such that “Cops teargas priests so Trump can have photo-op at church” is at least a plausible headline. Yes, protests can be ugly and the response to protests are likely to be ugly. But Trump is contributing to them being uglier — both in optics and in reality — than either need to be.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m also a little unclear on what would actually feel convincing for you. You dismiss videos because they came from protestors or CNN but accept statements from the cops and stories from Fox News.

                The cops claimed they were under assault from water bottles. They’re in riot gear and the many videos I looked through didn’t show any water bottles in the air. Maybe I missed them. But if they were being thrown, there would be video somewhere and it would be available. Because everything is out there right now.

                We could then examine that claim: some water bottles being thrown at cops in riot gear justifies smoke cans and rubber bullets on the entire group? Maybe I’m a biased cynic, but that makes the cops less sympathetic, not more.Report

              • Avatar JS in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                “The cops claimed they were under assault from water bottles.”

                Oh, that truth has been replaced with a new one. Now Barr is claiming he personally ordered the park cleared. It’s amazing how totally contradictory the truth can be!

                I do wonder if he also ordered those meddlesome priests removed from their own property, so Trump didn’t have to share the stage.

                it wasn’t like St. John’s was informed the President was coming by, much less gave permission. I’m sure tear gassing priests so you can seize their property is just one of those cute little accidents of life.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                I guess what I am pushing back against is the idea that one point of view tells the whole story. No single source has all the information, and at this point ALL of them are biased. Is FOX better than CNN? Only if that is a viewpoint you already subscribed to. I want to see as much as posible before I form any opinion about things like this. Is the FOX thing correct? I don’t know, nor do I think it would present the whole truth. Just a different opinion, to help me understand what is going on.

                Right now, I have zero sympathy for the cops. I mean, seriously, people throw water bottles at you, so tear or smoke gas them? Get real, and that just adds to the problem at this point. But, if it was park police indeed who did this, then the whole thing about Trump gasing people to do his stupid (like all photo ops, from everyone who does one) is just bad reporting in search of a narrative. And that sucks, because it reinforces a particluar point of view. A point of view that leats to more Trump.

                “But if they were being thrown, there would be video somewhere and it would be available. Because everything is out there right now.” And that is an example of what I am saying. If I don’t see what I am being told, I push back. Except in this case, I don’t need to see water bottles being thrown to know the idea is unacceptable.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Aaron David
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t think Trump was involved in the decisions made by the police. But Trump is 100% responsible for his own behavior. He sees what is happening and his response is “DOMINATE!”

                Maybe that will inform cop behavior, maybe not. Even THAT I won’t put on him.

                But our nation desparately needs leadership right now. BLM is intentionally diffuse, which served them at times but is complicating this. But POTUS? It’s your job to fucking lead and protect our country — both (ALL OF) the individuals within it and the nation as a whole/concept. He has completely rejected that notion.

                He didn’t start the cops gassing and maybe can’t stop them. But he can sure as hell not celebrate the ugliness.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, we have an election here in a few months, so we shall see what happens. What the states feel.Report

              • Avatar Philip H in reply to Aaron David
                Ignored
                says:

                In DC Park Police are the U.S. Park Police, who are federal officers under the National Park Service. They are different from NPS Rangers, and have full federal law enforcement powers. Lafayette Square and Park – where this occurred adjacent to the WH – are Park Service Property. DC Metro has no jurisdiction there and the Secret Service works hand in hand with the Park Police to do routine – and now riot – policing there.

                https://www.nps.gov/subjects/uspp/index.htmReport

              • Avatar Anne in reply to Aaron David
                Ignored
                says:

                Here is a post with comments from a priest I can’t find the original Facebook post right now
                https://religionnews.com/2020/06/02/ahead-of-trump-bible-photo-op-police-forcibly-expel-priest-from-st-johns-church-near-white-house/

                Also just saw an article that says AG Barr directly ordered extending the White House perimeter past the church and that it had nothing to do with Trumps photo op. I find that coincidence a bit hard to swallowReport

              • Avatar Philip H in reply to Anne
                Ignored
                says:

                There is also reporting that he went out ahead of the President to oversee the clearing before the photo op.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Anne
                Ignored
                says:

                Thank you Anne, that was a good piece.Report

      • Avatar Philip H in reply to Aaron David
        Ignored
        says:

        Bear in mind that DC is not really a sovereign city. Its budget must be approved by Congress after the city council approves it, and many of its buildings and public spaces are under federal jurisdiction as they are owned by the agencies in question. Lafayette Park for instance, belongs to the Park Service, and DC Metro Police can’t patrol there without the permission of the Park Service and Secret Service. Law enforcement there is a crazy quilt patchwork of agencies whose jurisdictions often literally intersect in the street.Report

        • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Philip H
          Ignored
          says:

          Interesting. I did not know about the patchwork.Report

          • Avatar Philip H in reply to Aaron David
            Ignored
            says:

            The joke for the 11 years I lived there was that there was no point in calling the cops for an auto accident down town. You were guaranteed 5 agencies would respond, spend an hour arguing over who’s pavement it was, and then write each other tickets to cover the fact they didn’t want to write tickets to anyone.Report

        • Avatar JS in reply to Philip H
          Ignored
          says:

          Offhand, is St John’s owned by the city? The Feds?

          Because I was under the impression it was an actual regular church. Who, as I noted above, had it’s pastors or priests driven from it by tear gas and rubber bullets and commandeered by the President.

          If it’s actually federal property, some sort of historic deal, perhaps that’s only heavily egregious and not as blatant and clearly over-the-top mustache twirling villainous as it looks.

          Because it looks like federal agents violently seizing a church and driving off it’s pastors, for no other reason than it was the closest church to where the President was and he wanted it as a backdrop for some photos.

          Which, now that I think about it, was probably a plot point in the Left Behind series.Report

          • Avatar Philip H in reply to JS
            Ignored
            says:

            My flawed understanding is St. John’s owns its land and buildings. Its not a Park Service facility or anything similar lend-lease sort of thing.

            https://stjohns-dc.org/welcome-to-saint-johns-church/history/Report

            • Avatar JS in reply to Philip H
              Ignored
              says:

              So yes, Trump actually commandeered a Church — or at least it’s courtyard — and violently drove off pastors and priests to do so?

              Seriously, how is that not the penultimate scandal? How is that not infuriating Christians across America? That the President decided to handle peaceful protests by inflicting violence on clergy, and violating a church for purely selfish, partisan purposes?

              What next? Is he actually going to have FEMA create re-education camps?Report

              • Avatar veronica d in reply to JS
                Ignored
                says:

                Regarding the evangelicals, that question is answer in Mathew chapter 7, the “wolf in sheep’s clothing” and “you will know them by their fruits” thing. The evangelicals will have no problem with Trump’s thugs commandeering a church or using teargas on clergy, because the evangelicals are authoritarian. They are not defenders of freedom. That was never their goal. Instead, they wanted license to dominate others. They believe Trump will give that to them, or at least close enough.Report

              • Avatar Philip H in reply to veronica d
                Ignored
                says:

                The evangelicals will have no problem with Trump’s thugs commandeering a church or using teargas on clergy, because the evangelicals are authoritarian. They are not defenders of freedom. That was never their goal. Instead, they wanted license to dominate others. They believe Trump will give that to them, or at least close enough.

                Many of them think he already has given them this authority and since a good chunk of them are dominionist, they view this as the next necessary step in creating the rapture.Report

              • Avatar veronica d in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                Exactly. None of this is a big mystery.

                It’s almost cliche to point out that the modern right wing evangelical movement are exactly the people that Jesus preached against, but it’s true. It’s been true my entire life, as these people have always been here.

                Note, “The Authoritarians” is a free download: https://www.theauthoritarians.org/options-for-getting-the-book/

                Given the current situation, I highly recommend that book.Report

  12. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    Riots are going on in Europe too.

    Which is weird.

    Something else is going on.Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      Dunno about riots, but this rally in France mentioned Floyd, together with Adama Traore who died in French police custody in 2016.
      https://twitter.com/Joyce_Karam/status/1267938103341338633

      These issues aren’t unique to America.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      RIots or protests. I get the desire to collapse the distinctionReport

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater
        Ignored
        says:

        You’re absolutely right. Protests.Report

      • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Stillwater
        Ignored
        says:

        Riots is breaking stuff and/or setting fires. The “why” of it doesn’t really matter.Report

        • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Dark Matter
          Ignored
          says:

          Isn’t war just breaking stuff and setting fires? Does the why of war not matter?

          Popehat wrote something you might like:

          I don’t understand why people don’t seek reasonable, peaceful change through orderly protest against a system that confers impunity for murdering them or through voting in a country that systematically tries to disenfranchise them.Report

          • Avatar George Turner in reply to Stillwater
            Ignored
            says:

            The protests seem to be occurring in cities run by people the protesters vote for at 90%+ rates. I would hardly call them disenfranchised.Report

          • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Stillwater
            Ignored
            says:

            Isn’t war just breaking stuff and setting fires? Does the why of war not matter?

            This is like saying the Trashman’s incinerator is a riot.

            I don’t understand why people don’t seek reasonable, peaceful change

            The word “change” there is doing a lot of heavy lifting.

            Over the long haul, the number of people killed by the police is going down and racial equality is going up. For one example of many, since 1992 we’ve had a Black President.

            Trying to pretend there has been no change since 1992 (much less 1940) seems an abuse of history.

            …or through voting in a country that systematically tries to disenfranchise them.

            Law enforcement is a local issue. Blacks are a really important plank in the liberal machine. Most of these incidents are happening on liberal plantations.

            There’s a serious disconnect there in how those facts add up, like maybe the problem and/or the solution aren’t what we like to think they are.Report

  13. Avatar Chip Daniels
    Ignored
    says:

    Mike Mullen, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff:

    I Cannot Remain Silent
    Our fellow citizens are not the enemy, and must never become so.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/06/american-cities-are-not-battlespaces/612553/Report

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