It’s Just Property

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Kristin Devine

Kristin is a geek, a libertarian, and a domestic goddess. She lives in a wildlife refuge in rural Washington state with too many children and way too many animals and works with women around the world as a fertility counselor. There's also a blog which most people would very much disapprove of https://atomicfeminist.com/

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141 Responses

  1. Avatar Oscar Gordon
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    says:

    Not to mention, even if the insurers survive (they probably will), the chances that they will payout and drop the policies is pretty high, which means those small businesses will have to pay more for insurance (if they can get it) to re-open at that location, which can impact how much of the neighborhood actually recovers.Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to Oscar Gordon
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      says:

      Insurance rarely if ever covers property losses caused by riots, etc. They really can’t, either, because if they did, many struggling property owners would just get the looters or arsonists to burn their place down for the insurance money. The store owners best bet would probably be a GoFundMe, but the rioting and unrest is so widespread that the number of looted businesses likely exceeds the pool of potential donors.

      Many of the businesses certainly won’t return, and many won’t get replaced by new business for a very long time, because who would be foolish enough to open a business where people loot at the drop of a hat? The same applies to home values in these areas. “No capital accumulation for you!”Report

  2. Avatar Philip H
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    says:

    As many BLM activists have pointed out – that property is often not owned, much less staffed, by the people in the neighborhoods where it is attacked. Yes, its someone’s dream, but when its not truly someone local’s dream it becomes easier to burn to the ground. Its also worth noting that so far, all those arrested for the looting and burning have been folks of a particular political and racial bent, who seem to always want to attack society regardless of the over arching reason for the protests they hide in.

    That aside – we have spent close to 400 years trading lives for property in our minority communities – in modern times its gentrification – but we have also done it for Interstates, chemical plants, shopping malls, and even gated communities. When we use eminent domain we trade property for lives, often destroying dream sin the process. And while those impacted directly by those decisions often have reason to be enraged, we all sit coyly back and tut tut because what ever is being created is supposed to be for the good of all. This looting is done by the state, so it must be good . . . or so too many folks reason.Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to Philip H
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      says:

      I don’t think it’s an either-or question. Judging by Chicago’s weekly shootings (although those are way down from last week’s record), we can destroy both property and cost lives and the same time! 🙂Report

  3. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    It’s just a pharmacy.

    It’s just a bodega.

    It’s just property taxes.

    It’s just a school district.Report

  4. Avatar Chip Daniels
    Ignored
    says:

    In the riots in our neighborhood, one of the stores to be smashed and looted was one owned by an immigrant, with a big sign that said “DREAMER OWNED”. The crowd didn’t care and someone’s livelihood was destroyed.

    And the thing is, if you watch the footage of the looting, the looters are all middle class people, driving late model cars. And the stuff they are grabbing? Not essentials, not food, no what they were grabbing were the most petty and silly trifles- cigarettes, candy, the occasional boombox or pair of sneakers.

    A day or so after the riots, I wrote an open letter, printed it and posted it up on the street below our building:

    OPEN LETTER
    TO THOSE WHO ATTACKED OUR NEIGHBORHOOD
    I watched you, young white men who don’t live here
    Who aren’t from our neighborhood
    Driving in here in shiny new cars

    You aren’t in solidarity with the People of DTLA
    You can tell yourself whatever lies you want
    But you attacked our home
    Because you wanted a freaky holiday
    And wanted to play revolutionary for an evening
    Before going back home

    This was after I stood guard in the shattered window of the drugstore at the base of our building, and uneasily faced the mob of people milling around before the cops came back and swept us all from the street.

    As I and the other guard stood there we talked quietly and agreed that if push came to shove we would retreat since “it was only property.”

    I still believe it was the correct decision. I pity that immigrant Dreamer, and all the others who lost jobs and dreams in the riots.

    But, we are in fact a wealthy society. No one is going to starve because of the riots, no one is going to even go hungry. All the merchandise in the store behind me wasn’t worth my life, or the life of any other person.
    It is an outrage when people show such disrespect but we have a monstrous flaming tire fire of disrespect for people’s jobs and livelihoods- this riot was just one more tiny ember on top of it all.Report

    • Avatar Doctor Jay in reply to Chip Daniels
      Ignored
      says:

      Well, this is a much better response than anything I was going to say. So I’m going to endorse it, and leave things there.Report

      • Avatar George Turner in reply to Doctor Jay
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        says:

        I’ve quoted an old Kentucky judge who said “I’ve seen people who needed killin’, but I’ve never seen property that needed stealin’.”

        The second clause is very relevant, because most of us can’t conceive of a logical reason why, say, my outrage about Japanese whaling policy should entitle me to steal a bunch of Sony PS5’s and then burn down the game store. Anger and outrage over policies or procedures doesn’t entitle anyone to steal some other random person’s stuff.

        I’ve seen interviews with Minneapolis looters arguing that America’s history of systemic racism entitles them to free stuff, including one who argued that Target was built on slavery, and thus she praised the fact that they’d looted it and burned it down. Prosecutors and defense attorney’s have heard these kind of claims all the time – from criminals who think like criminals.

        They make up some crazy self-justification for why they are stealing, robbing, burning, or killing somebody. These reasons are usually absurd. For example, Target’s parent company was founded in Minneapolis by a noted philanthropist in 1902. Target itself wasn’t created until 1968. There were never any ties to slavery. The people in the interview just wanted to loot target so they could get free stuff, because they’re criminals, and made up a reason to justify it to themselves.

        All the signs in the world won’t stop them because they are far better at coming up with crazy excuses to steal free stuff than any property owner or bystander can anticipate. If they’re stealing property “for justice” then people trying to defend that property must be “against justice”, and thus part of the oppressor class who must be purged so that they can keep stealing more stuff. This makes defending property a highly dangerous proposition.

        And this is how we end up with Batman patrolling Gotham City.Report

  5. Avatar Chip Daniels
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    says:

    Its also worth asking how much responsibility the businesses themselves have for their loss.

    Most of them are large chains, and all of them are members of associations- Chamber of Commerce, property owner associations, retail associations.
    And as such they are the movers and shakers of the local political world. They play a large part in determining who becomes the next Mayor, Councilman, Police Commissioner.

    In all their years of hosting fundraising luncheons for candidates, at hosting debates and townhalls, did they ever, even once, make “Police Brutality” an agenda item? Did they make police reform a condition for receiving financial support?

    It’s not like they weren’t warned. We have been getting loud klaxon warnings for years, telling us that the city is a powderkeg needing only a spark to explode.

    And now the explosion happened, a lot of them want to feign surprise like Hoocoodanode. And some want to go right back to the same normal which created this in the first place.Report

    • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Chip Daniels
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      says:

      And as such they are the movers and shakers of the local political world. They play a large part in determining who becomes the next Mayor, Councilman, Police Commissioner.

      Obligatory reminder that Amazon, one of only three trillion-dollar companies in the US, and headed by the richest person in the world, was unable to stop Seattle from reelecting village idiot Kshama Sawant to the city council.Report

      • Avatar Truth in reply to Brandon Berg
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        says:

        So this is a site where referring to an immigrant woman from India, an elected official who donates the portion of her salary that exceeds the average salary for the city, as “village idiot” is okay, but calling out that sort of racial aggression is not.Report

        • Avatar InMD in reply to Truth
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          says:

          I always thought the beautiful thing about America was that village idiots of all races and religions can and do hold elected office.Report

        • Avatar George Turner in reply to Truth
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          says:

          Just because someone may be morally pure doesn’t mean they’re also not a blithering idiot. Children are a good case in point.

          Elevating morally purity above competence and intelligence is a sign of a moral panic or virtue spiral, the end result of which can range from relatively minor, all the way to urban decay, white flight, skyrocketing crime rates, fiscal insolvency, pension system collapse, economic collapse, endemic poverty, and tyrannical oppression.

          A German party in the 30’s parlayed their moral purity and hard-scrabble, up-from-nothing narrative, in which they were the brave lower-class oppressed heroes who were fighting for social justice, into a major leadership role. But they were still, by and large, dumb as a box of rocks and depended on the existing career civil servants to avoid complete financial catastrophe from the outset.

          They too saw everything in racial terms.Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to George Turner
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            says:

            A party parlayed their moral purity and hard-scrabble, up-from-nothing narrative, in which they were the brave lower-class oppressed heroes who were fighting for social justice, into a major leadership role. But they were still, by and large, dumb as a box of rocks and depended on the existing career civil servants to avoid complete financial catastrophe from the outset.

            Mmm hmm. Do go on.

            They too saw everything in racial terms.

            Fascinating.Report

        • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Truth
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          says:

          Referring to politicians as village idiots is a-ok.

          There are tough cases and close calls, but this is not among them.Report

        • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Truth
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          says:

          She is an idiot. She pushes ideology over practicality and gets damn little done besides get her name in the papers and on TV.Report

          • Avatar Truth in reply to Oscar Gordon
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            says:

            Maybe you aren’t familiar with the idea of a “scold”, but that is her function. Her purpose is to pull enough from outside to extend the Overton Window so that others can make progress.

            She is definitely NOT an idiot.Report

            • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Truth
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              says:

              I’ve heard her make speeches, she’s an idiot.Report

            • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Truth
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              says:

              She’s openly a socialist which means her economic policies are insane. She’s also an economist.

              She grew up in India but is shocked at our levels of poverty.

              She’s for serious rent control as a way to increase the supply of housing.

              She’s for the nationalisation of Amazon and other big Washington State corporations like Boeing and Microsoft, especially so if those companies ever move jobs out of state (which means they had better not create jobs in her state).

              She… thinks the former USSR was run in an environmentally sustainable way? Am I reading that correctly? I suspect this is more “true socialism hasn’t been tried” but whatever.Report

  6. Avatar Pinky
    Ignored
    says:

    I never took the “it’s just property” line seriously. It isn’t just the shop-owners and guards who are risking life and limb for property. It’s the looters themselves. Some of these stores do have guards, and there are cameras somewhere, and the police might not arrest you this week for looting but they could next week. And that guy next to you who’s stealing a $500 appliance might just decide he’d rather have the $800 one in your hands.

    The property that gets destroyed is other people’s cars, store windows, and other things that can’t be taken. If property is portable, though, it gets stolen. Those are the actions of people who care about property.Report

  7. Avatar gabriel conroy
    Ignored
    says:

    Thanks for writing this, Kristin. To your question,

    What will happen to the people in those neighborhoods in Minneapolis and Chicago who already have nowhere to go for food and medicine?

    we saw the answer in Big City. The pharmacies closed. And some people (mostly very poor people) in some neighborhoods had no where to get their medicine. True, the pharmacies seem to have reopened (mine was closed for only one day, but my neighborhood is pretty affluent and was mostly untouched by the riots). But there was probably a week where some people just couldn’t get what they needed.

    I’ll also add to this:

    Assholes who destroy a family-owned franchise store aren’t striking a blow against a nameless, faceless corporation, they’re destroying what a family has built over the course of their lives.

    Even if it is a corporation, that corporation also means jobs, many of which go to otherwise marginalized persons. That corporation (CVS, Walgreens) is also, often, the source for medicine or food.

    One thing that gives me pause is the argument that we (i.e., white people like me) shouldn’t presume to tell people who’ve been oppressed like African Americans have how to protest their oppression. Ultimately, I say we don’t have–in fact, we have a duty not to–forbear discerning right and wrong (and along with Chip, I say it appears that at least some–I don’t know how many–of the looters weren’t part of the marginalized groups to being with). That said, I’m much more exercised by this looting, and much more inclined to feel I *need* to condemn it, than I’ve been about police brutality of the sort that murdered Mr. Floyd, or Laquan McDonald. True, I theoretically “condemned” those murders, but I’m much more eager to condemn the looting. So, although I disagree with the point that I can’t also condemn looting, I’m chastened a little about it.

    ETA: I’m not convinced that the protesters necessarily–as a whole–endorse the looting and rioting. So maybe we can condemn both the looting and the murders.Report

    • Avatar InMD in reply to gabriel conroy
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      says:

      So maybe we can condemn both the looting and the murders.

      Only in the world of social media is there a stark either or question about this. The police are a problem. The rioting is wrong and counter-productive. Obviously looting is only possible because authorities are distracted by protests. But to what degree is the rioting actually endorsed by the protestors? Maybe on the fringe. But I don’t think it’s fair to say someone marching with a sign demanding redress from the government, as they have an enshrined right to do, somehow owns the actions of another person who smashes a window and steals stuff from a store, whatever the rationalization.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to InMD
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        says:

        In my corner of the world, it was perfectly clear that the looters were a wholly separate group than the protesters.
        If you can, check out the local LA television coverage of the Hollywood protests and looting, stations KCAL or KABC.

        You’ll see how the large group moved down a commercial street, with young men on bikes on the outer fringes. After a time the bikes peel off and head a few blocks away to a shopping center and smash a window; At the same moment a line of cars were waiting on the adjacent street, and they swoop in and begin looting.

        The people in the cars weren’t with the protesters walking; The young men on bikes were scouts coordinating with them.Report

        • Avatar Truth in reply to Chip Daniels
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          says:

          This isn’t the first time police forces have sent agents provocateur in to cause incidents that “justify” brutality. The FBI did it to MLK numerous times.Report

        • Avatar gabriel conroy in reply to Chip Daniels
          Ignored
          says:

          In my corner of the world it wasn’t quite so clear. Not that I really know the facts, and the “facts” I do know are news reports from the day(s) of the rioting that are probably at least a little wrong.

          Even so, I assume and believe that the vast majority of the protesters disapprove of the rioting and that it’s unfair to tarnish all the protests by claiming they’re the same as rioting.

          I have no informed opinion about whether the (peaceful) protests now are counterproductive. They likely are in some ways and not in others. The trick is to discern the balance. And for that I’d need more information.Report

      • Avatar Truth in reply to InMD
        Ignored
        says:

        “The rioting is wrong and counter-productive.”

        To the largest degree, the “rioting” and “looting” turns out not to be by the people protesting, but by agitators and provocateurs. Such as “Black Umbrella”, who was either a policeman, or working on their behalf.

        But it provides an opening and a way for those who don’t really support the protesters to say “I support the protesters but…” and then dismiss the protesters. And of course, all it takes is one agent provocateur to provide the excuse the cops need.

        Even though videos have now proven oftentimes the police don’t really need the excuse, they’ll just lie and write some bullshit on the paperwork afterwards anyways.Report

        • Avatar George Turner in reply to Truth
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          says:

          Well, the video looked really bad and the country had 100% agreement on the need for police reform. That’s simply unacceptable, so they started protesting to see if they could get that support to drop way below 50%, and to assure that police budgets go up and Trump wins in a landslide.

          Go protesters! You tell ’em!

          I love those guys. ^_^Report

          • Avatar Truth in reply to George Turner
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            says:

            The protests began because the murderer wasn’t even arrested, as is common for the standard corruption of American cops under the Blue Code Of Silence. How the fuck this site lets your racist gaslighting go on I can’t understand.Report

            • Avatar Pinky in reply to Truth
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              says:

              But they didn’t stop after he was arrested. George is right that the protests now are likely doing more damage to the cause. And whether or not the looters and rioters are part of the same group, as long as their are protesters there will be looting and rioting, and that part of the equation is definitely doing damage to the cause.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky
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                says:

                Why are you using the present tense?

                I haven’t seen any looting for almost two weeks now, just lots of peaceful protests.Report

              • Avatar Truth in reply to Pinky
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                says:

                If you address the actual causes for protests, the agent-provocateur looters and rioters won’t have cover. But that would take more work on your part than un-self-aware victim-blaming rants about how “oh that’s damaging their cause”.Report

  8. Avatar greginak
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    says:

    No doubt the property destruction is bad. The defenses go from understandable but still bad ( people who have been grievously hurt for years often react with a lot of heat when a fuse is lit) to weak ( it’s just big corps). What i think others are noting is that it seems like some the looters aren’t neighborhood locals so that doesn’t reflect on the grievances of the protesters. Also certainly some bad elements use protests to let their id loose when they can which is also not on the protesters. From the many videos it certainly seems like the cops have instigated some of the riots which is just plain bad.

    What percentage of the protesters are violent? That seems like a good question and pertinent. I’ve been seeing videos of continuing protests with no riots or violence at all. The grievances presented are valid and the bill they are presenting is way overdue. The bad of the riots is a separate issue with multiple causes. I dont’ have a problem condemning it and i’m not afraid of being cancelled (criticized). I’d say we should defuse the protests which bring the chance of riots by concrete action to address the reasons the protesters are in the streets.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to greginak
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      says:

      What percentage of the protesters are violent? That seems like a good question and pertinent.

      How representative of Police is Derek Chauvin?Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to Jaybird
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        says:

        Hmm i can think of a few ways this comparison fails. I can’t quite tell which is the most pertinent fails w/o knowing what your point is.Report

        • Avatar CJColucci in reply to greginak
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          says:

          Trying to find out what the point is is the entire game. Best not to play.Report

        • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to greginak
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          says:

          “I can’t quite tell which is the most pertinent fails w/o knowing what your point is.”

          Why should it matter what his point is?

          Why is it a hard question to answer?

          If you think he’s Laying An Obvious Trap then why not wreck his ass by not merely defusing the trap but by picking it up and jamming it over his fat stupid head so that it clamps onto his neck and makes his big dumb ears swell up hilariously?Report

      • Avatar Ozzzy! in reply to Jaybird
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        says:

        “What percentage of the protesters are violent? That seems like a good question and pertinent?”

        Enough to be upset.

        “How representative of Police is Derek Chauvin?”

        Enough to be upset.Report

      • Avatar George Turner in reply to Jaybird
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        says:

        There are some similar questions to ask.

        Why would people who live in a city that’s not Minneapolis, and in a state that’s not Minnesota, and whose police don’t have any history of anything remotely like Minneapolis, Chicago, or other such places, feel they need to loot and set fire to their local police cars?

        Why are the police in Portland or where ever, or the mayor or city councils, being held to account for actions by a different group of police who answered to a different mayor and a different city council?

        Once you come up with a line of reasoning that would support going national despite the obvious lack of direct linkage, would that same line of reasoning also argue that if protesters in one part of city A get violent enough to warrant a massive police use of deadly force, then the police in all the other cities can likewise just go ahead an use a massive amount of deadly force?

        If you can’t open fire on peaceful protesters in Hershey Pennsylvania because Antifa in Seattle threw Molotov cocktails at cops, why can protesters in Seattle throw Molotov cocktails at Seattle cops because a policeman in Minneapolis did something?Report

        • Avatar Truth in reply to George Turner
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          says:

          It’s not “because a policeman in Minneapolis did something”. It’s decades of abuses if not centuries. It’s these names plus millions who have been abused, beaten, raped, stolen from, bullied, tortured, terrorized, murdered and more by white supremacists inside police uniforms.

          And yes I say “more” because often these badged klansmen desecrate the bodies after or during the murder.

          EMMETT TILL – MEDGAR EVERS – DR MARTIN LUTHER KING JR – HENRY SMITH – JOHN CRAWFORD III – MICHAEL BROWN – EZELL FORD – DANTE PARKER – MICHELLE CUSSEAUX – LAQUAN MCDONALD – TANISHA ANDERSON – AKAI GURLEY – TAMIR RICE – RUMAIN BRISBON – JERAME REID – MATTHEW AJIBADE – JAMES N. POWELL JR. – FRANK SMART – NATASHA MCKENNA – TONY ROBINSON – ANTHONY HILL – MYA HALL – PHILLIP WHITE – ERIC HARRIS – WALTER SCOTT – WILLIAM CHAPMAN II – ALEXIA CHRISTIAN – BRENDON GLENN – VICTOR MANUEL LAROSA – JONATHAN SANDERS – FREDDIE CARLOS GRAY JR. – JOSEPH MANN – SALVADO ELLSWOOD – SANDRA BLAND – ALBERT JOSEPH DAVIS – DARRIUS STEWART – BILLY RAY DAVIS – SAMUEL DUBOSE – MICHAEL SABBIE – BRIAN KEITH DAY – CHRISTIAN TAYLOR – TROY ROBINSON – ASSHAMS PHAROAH MANLEY – FELIX KUMI – KEITH HARRISON MCLEOD – JUNIOR PROSPER – LAMONTEZ JONES – PATERSON BROWN – DOMINIC HUTCHINSON – ANTHONY ASHFORD – ALONZO SMITH – TYREE CRAWFORD – INDIA KAGER – LA’VANTE BIGGS – MICHAEL LEE MARSHALL – JAMAR CLARK – RICHARD PERKINS – PHILLIP PANNELL – NATHANIEL HARRIS PICKETT – BENNI LEE TIGNOR – MIGUEL ESPINAL – MICHAEL NOEL – KEVIN MATTHEWS – BETTIE JONES – QUINTONIO LEGRIER – KEITH CHILDRESS JR. – JANET WILSON – RANDY NELSON – ANTRONIE SCOTT – WENDELL CELESTINE – DAVID JOSEPH – CALIN ROQUEMORE – DYZHAWN PERKINS – CHRISTOPHER DAVIS – MARCO LOUD – PETER GAINES – TORREY ROBINSON – DARIUS ROBINSON – KEVIN HICKS – MARY TRUXILLO – DEMARCUS SEMER – AMADOU DIALLO – WILLIE TILLMAN – TERRILL THOMAS – SYLVILLE SMITH – DEMETRIUS DUBOSE – ALTON STERLING – PHILANDO CASTILE – TERENCE CRUTCHER – PAUL O’NEAL – ALTERIA WOODS – BOBBY RUSS – JORDAN EDWARDS – AARON BAILEY – RONELL FOSTER – STEPHON CLARK – COREY CARTER – ANTWON ROSE II – TAYLER ROCK – MALICE GREEN – RAMARLEY GRAHAM – ELIJAH MCCLAIN – AIYANA STANLEY JONES – BOTHAM JEAN – PAMELA TURNER – DOMINIQUE CLAYTON – SEAN BELL – ATATIANA JEFFERSON – JEMEL ROBERSON – JAMES LEE ALEXANDER – RYAN MATTHEW SMITH – DERRICK AMBROSE JR. – ADDIE MAE COLLINS – CAROL DENISE MCNAIR – CAROLE ROBERTSON – CYNTHIA WESLEY – NICHOLAS HEYWARD JR. – CHRISTOPHER WHITFIELD – VICTOR WHITE III – CHRISTOPHER MCCORVEY – TIMOTHY THOMAS – REGINALD DOUCET JR. – DANROY “DJ” HENRY JR. – KARVAS GAMBLE JR. – ERIC REASON – KORRYN GAINES – REKIA BOYD – KIONTE SPENCER – DARIUS TARVER – WAYNE ARNOLD JONES – MANUEL ELLIS – VICTOR DUFFY JR. – KOBE DIMOCK-HEISLER – CLINTON R. ALLEN – TIMOTHY CAUGHMAN – COREY JONES – TYRE KING – ERIC GARNER – MILES HALL – KENDRICK JOHNSON – MICHAEL LORENZO DEAN – TRAYVON MARTIN – RENISHA MCBRIDE – OSCAR GRANT III – BREONNA TAYLOR – KALIEF BROWDER – DARRIEN HUNT – TROY HODGE – WILLIAM GREEN – AHMAUD ARBERY – TONY MCDADE – JAMEL FLOYD – GEORGE FLOYDReport

          • Avatar Pinky in reply to Truth
            Ignored
            says:

            How many of those people were killed by police? I know offhand that the first three weren’t. Trayvon Martin and Ahmaud Arbery weren’t. At least half the police who were charged in the death of Freddie Gray Jr. for sure weren’t white supremacists. As for Michael Brown, all evidence indicates that the police were right to shoot him.Report

            • Avatar Truth in reply to Pinky
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              says:

              Trayvon Martin was killed by a power-mad white supremacist who appointed himself “neighborhood patrol” and dreamed of joining the Badged Abusers.

              Ahmaud Arbery was hunted down and lynched. Two of the parties were former police, and they were beyond obviously protected by multiple police departments and DA offices who were following “Blue Code of Silence” culture and protecting them from prosecution at all costs.

              Only the worst kind of liar or racist can come to that conclusion about Michael Brown.

              But thank you for illustrating the lengths of dishonesty the “Blue Code of Silence” crowd will go to.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Truth
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                says:

                Trayvon Martin was killed by a power-mad white supremacist

                Zimmerman is Hispanic.

                Only the worst kind of liar or racist can come to that conclusion about Michael Brown.

                That conclusion was the official report from Obama’s Dept of Justice, i.e. Eric Holder (who, if it matters, is also black).

                Eric’s statement is on line. The Dept of Justice’s findings are also on line. This was not “couldn’t find enough evidence to prove anything”, it was “we found a ton of evidence but it all says the shooting was fine”.Report

            • Avatar Truth in reply to Pinky
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              says:

              If you think the white supremacist “law enforcement” of Mississippi did not assist in the lynching of Emmett Till and protect his murderers, you’re insane.

              Byron de la Beckwith spent 3 decades free after two all-white juries in sham trials protected him from justice. If you think that didn’t include his getting help from white supremacists in the prosecutors’ office, police departments, and state government, you’re insane.

              If you don’t understand how white supremacists in law enforcement were involved in the persecution, bullying, and ongoing attacks on MLK all his career, you’re more than insane.Report

            • Avatar Pinky in reply to Pinky
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              says:

              My hunch is, you’re butting up against the “no personal attacks” policy of this site.

              That isn’t just my conclusion about the Michael Brown case; it was the conclusion of the Department of Justice under Obama.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Pinky
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                says:

                Your hunch is correct.Report

              • Avatar Truth in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                George Zimmerman now makes money by attending gun shows and other events. Here he is signing items for his fans, wearing a confederate flag shirt and with a confederate flag placard on his table.

                Favorite items to sign or hand out include bags of skittles. “‘One of the big party tricks that George would do is that he’d always have a few bags of skittles in his pocket then when somebody mentioned something like “Hey, good job,” George’s response would be to take a bag of skittles, sign it, then hand it out.’”

                https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/zimmerman-skittles-signing/Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Truth
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                says:

                When he wasn’t in prison, Ernesto Miranda used to sell signed Miranda warning cards for a dollar or two. There are a few of them in museums, but I can’t imagine what one of those would be worth on the open market.Report

            • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Pinky
              Ignored
              says:

              This is clearly not a well filtered list.

              The first name I picked to look at, Kevin Hicks, was indeed unarmed, however we have video evidence supporting the cop’s story. Hicks is shown physically attacking the cop… who had been summoned to get Hicks to stop beating up his wife.

              https://www.theindychannel.com/news/local-news/crime/call-6-video-shows-final-moments-before-kevin-hicks-shot-and-killed-by-impd

              TIMOTHY CAUGHMAN (2nd lookup), was stabbed with a random guy with a Roman Sword. This was a “political statement” and anti-black “terror attack”. Attacker turned himself into the police, pled guilty, and is serving life. I expect there are serious mental health issues here but the police weren’t involved.

              OSCAR GRANT III (3rd) was killed by a BART cop. Not a bad example of his point although the cop did serve time over it, granted not enough.

              Several others I can’t find good info on.Report

      • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        So, I just posted something about this in a ‘The media is not covering imaginary things’ thread from the other day, (it hasn’t shown up due to the cache) but I’d kinda like an answer here without people looking at what I said there first:

        What is people’s estimation of how many police officers have been arrested during these protests for actions during the protests?

        To clarify: I’m not talking about the killers of George Floyd or Breonna Taylor, or others that the protests are about, but the police arrested for misbehavior towards protestors.

        I just kinda wonder the general impression people have of that.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to DavidTC
          Ignored
          says:

          If I had to guess, I’d say that the only cops who have gotten arrested during this time of protests are ones who got off scot-free from a scandal within the last… two years?

          And the protests/riots have resulted in cops getting arrested for something that happened in 2019.

          But, otherwise, no cops have been arrested for anything related to anything they’ve done during the protests/riots. Yet, of course. Yet.Report

        • Avatar Truth in reply to DavidTC
          Ignored
          says:

          The chances of cops arresting cops for violating the law is essentially zero. That’s why the protests.

          They can’t even stop doing police brutality at protests against police brutality.Report

        • Avatar DavidTC in reply to DavidTC
          Ignored
          says:

          Guys…I know you think you’re saying ‘None of them have, and they should be’ is supporting the protestors premise…but..like _at least_ ten of them have been charged. Cops are now, in a lot of places, actually being charged with their crimes, the crimes that are being caught on camera, mostly because places are finally having enough.

          You just don’t know about it. For very mysterious reasons.

          And…I’m not going to provide links at the moment, because it actually makes my point _much better_ when other people here are completely unable to find what I’m talking about. I will eventually provide names…I did already in the comment I mentioned I made on the other article, actually, but I urge people to _not_ go and get the names from there to google. Try to find this out yourself first, even if you’ve read it, try to google this without any of the details I gave.

          You will not be able to. Because the national media is not covering this. Not the common ‘I shall link to CNN and Fox to prove it’s not being covered’ gibberish from people complaining about imaginary media bias. The media is actually, literally, not covering it. I can’t link to it, it’s not there.

          Now, _local_ media is writing about any local arrests of police officers, and maybe, perhaps, some of the national news has mentioned them, I haven’t read any article. But everyone refuses to connect it together. They’ll list, city by city, the protests, and the rioting, but not a single will say ‘Here is the list of police officers that have been arrested for their actions during these very protests’

          This is of course because the only logical conclusion is: Maybe this nationwide trend of now arresting cops committing violence against protestors actually proves what protestors have been saying this entire time about police violence.Report

          • Avatar Pinky in reply to DavidTC
            Ignored
            says:

            I would have drawn the opposite conclusion, that police being arrested proves that the system works.Report

            • Avatar Truth in reply to Pinky
              Ignored
              says:

              Meanwhile last night in Atlanta, a man was shot for the “crime” of being asleep in the passenger seat of a stopped vehicle. And it appears that the police in question used a usual tactic of taunting and provoking and goading him for more than half an hour, until he finally did something they could claim justified shooting him in the back.

              Of course, the time spent goading him isn’t mentioned in the police report. Police arrive at 22:54; Rayshard Brooks is shot dead at 23:22. The report claims merely that he “resisted arrest”. You can see at 23:22:59 just after the man is shot three times, one of the officers winds up to deliver a vicious kick to somewhere on the victim’s body, though the leg and now-prone body is partially obscured by a car that conveniently drives forward just a moment later. Once the car is clear, it looks an awful lot like that wind-up kick went straight to the prone victim’s helpless head.

              And yet there are people here who wonder why there are protests against police abuse and badged sociopaths who commit murder under color of law and will in all probability get away with it.Report

            • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Pinky
              Ignored
              says:

              That is an interesting way for the system to ‘work’. Do you think that about other things?

              The fact that we’ve suddenly noticed that a lot of police officers are committing criminal acts to the level of breaking the law _even with the high bar for police officers_….that not only proves the system didn’t used to work (vindicating all the protestors), but…if that many police officers are found, that quickly, then there is a rather large amount of police officers who _haven’t_ been caught.

              Especially when you realize…not everywhere is going to start actually actually arresting cops. This is just a _few_ places that saw the writing on the wall.

              This is akin to learning McDonalds putting up security cameras, and informing the employees of this, and in the first five minutes of monitoring finding ten employees spitting in the food, and fired them for that.

              Well…the system works, I guess!

              No, that does not indicate the system is working. In fact, it rather indicates it’s _not_ working. That in a major systematic way it doesn’t work.Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to DavidTC
                Ignored
                says:

                I assume that the daily duty of a police officer is more difficult right now. It’s less predictable, and they have less experience and training for the current situation. If soldiers commit war crimes or friendly fire incidents during a battle, we don’t assume they do so every day.

                (I knowingly leave myself open to the following criticism: the life of the inner city black man in dealing with police is a war zone every day, and I just don’t realize it.)

                One of the claims of the “disband” crowd is that the system is incapable of going after cops. Not bad at it and in need of reform, but incapable and in need of replacement. (I could be wrong, but I think they’d say that.) If the system is capable of dismissing and prosecuting bad cops, then to some extent it works.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Jury is still out on that point. Officers have been fired before, and then brought back 6 months later after the Union forced the re-hire, or they get hired at a nearby department. Officers have been tried before, and acquitted.

                Technically, there have been cases of officers getting fired and having it stick, and officers being convicted, but such cases are rare and I would not claim they are indicative of the system ‘working’ except at the margins.

                PS Soldiers who commit war crimes or friendly fire incidents are still regularly brought up on charges. The fog of war is, at best, an extenuating circumstance, but not an excuse.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                I assume that the daily duty of a police officer is more difficult right now.

                Um, if the daily duty of a police officer at _protests_, where they just have to stand around with other cops, instead of doing the job we _supposedly_ pay them for, which is to go after bad people who are holding guns and thing…what are you talking about?

                It’s less predictable, and they have less experience and training for the current situation.

                Is this some sort of ‘heat of the moment’ defense?

                That maybe works for D’Andraia, and maybe the two Buffalo officers, but Bologna hit a woman in the head with a metal baton, something he’s….pretty explicitly trained not to do.

                And six cops were charged in Atlanta for pulling two random college students from a car, smashing their windows, and throwing them to the ground. They weren’t at a protest. There was just a few blocks away. I feel I should elaborate on that, explain the extenuating circumstances, but there actually aren’t any. It was after curfew, but other people were driving around just fine, and it’s actually _legal_ to be out after curfew for multiple reasons (Including going home, like they apparently were.), so smashing through their car windows and slicing their tires without giving them a chance to explain seems a bit…violently insane.

                So I guess you are correct…cops have no experience or training in dealing with the public in any manner whatsoever, and it’s silly for us to expect they’d suddenly be able to manage that.

                You know, most people, when faced with people protesting them for behavior generally agreed to be wrong, would be very careful to not do that exact thing. Like, if some man gets called out by the media for being sexist, he probably wouldn’t hold an press conference where he talks about a woman’s breasts. (Insert Trump joke here.)

                In a logical universe, the police would have been on their upmost best behavior, being kind and friendly to the protestors, making the protestors look like idiots. But…the key phrase in what I said was ‘behavior generally agreed to be wrong’. Police officers flatly refuse to see any actions done by one of them as wrong.

                One of the claims of the “disband” crowd is that the system is incapable of going after cops. Not bad at it and in need of reform, but incapable and in need of replacement. (I could be wrong, but I think they’d say that.)

                Pretty correct. What level of ‘replacement’ or ‘not replace them’ is sometimes up for debate, but basically the idea is tear down every police department and _maybe_ rebuild it.

                Aka, the house is completely rotten from the foundations to the top, and it’s coming down. We _might_ put it back up afterwards. People who have opinions on the sort of ‘house’ that society needs should go get in _that_ line. People defending the existing house are not going to be taken seriously.

                If the system is capable of dismissing and prosecuting bad cops, then to some extent it works.

                What has been proven is that the system is capable, in a few places, of making steps towards holding cops accountable (Although as Oscar pointed out, the system doesn’t work until they’re actually convicted.), while large-scale nation-wide demonstrations are going on. Heh.

                But also…you’re arguing the system at large works, that police officers committing crimes will get caught by other parts of it. Which, in addition not really being true in general, just a few specific places…the entire system isn’t the only system.

                If police departments produce this sort of activity, it doesn’t matter if other parts of the government catch them at it and try to punish them…there’s still clearly something wrong with police departments at a very basic level, nationwide.

                A notable thing here is, of the officers who have been charge or even just suspended in all this…other police officers blatantly explicitly make shows of support for them. That’s not the system ‘working’. That’s the opposite of working. To repeat: Police officers flatly refuse to see any actions done by one of them as wrong.

                That system cannot be allowed to stand. And it cannot be reformed. Perhaps if everyone in it was removed and it was rebuilt exactly the same with new people, it could work…although I doubt it.Report

              • Avatar veronica d in reply to DavidTC
                Ignored
                says:

                You know, most people, when faced with people protesting them for behavior generally agreed to be wrong, would be very careful to not do that exact thing. Like, if some man gets called out by the media for being sexist, he probably wouldn’t hold an press conference where he talks about a woman’s breasts. (Insert Trump joke here.)

                Have you ever witnessed how male-dominated communities respond to women who complain about sexism in those communities?Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to veronica d
                Ignored
                says:

                Have you ever witnessed how male-dominated communities respond to women who complain about sexism in those communities?

                Heh. My ‘insert Trump joke here’ probably should have been ‘insert joke about a society-wide problem in male-dominated spaces here’.

                But…I don’t know. I think what’s going on here is actually a little past what we’d even normally expect from that.

                It’s a matter of if they think they have any accountability. And yes, a lot of male-dominated communities expect basically no accountability for how they behave toward women…but ‘basically’ and ‘literally none ever under any circumstances’ isn’t the same thing.

                What’s happening with the police, with them responding to protests against police violence with more police violence, is sorta like if someone complained about how [male-dominated professional society] leadership behaved sexistly, and they issued a press release in response calling women the c-word and changing their bylaws to exclude all women. I mean, it could happen, but it would be…astonishing.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to DavidTC
                Ignored
                says:

                The words “the police” describe a level of uniformity that doesn’t exist.

                There are entire departments which are handling this fine, they’re not in the news. There are departments with individuals who are handling the idea of accountability poorly, some of them are in the news. There are entire departments which the basic idea of accountability, if enacted, would mean most of them have to seriously change how they do things.

                And if we impose accountability retroactively, some of them should be arrested. That’s before they wonder about how reasonable the level of accountability would be, whether their lives would be more at risk, etc.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                The words “the police” describe a level of uniformity that doesn’t exist.

                If the argument is ‘There are some current police officers who should be part of the new police force, if that exists to the level that it would make sense for them to be in’…I’m not sure anyone has a problem with that.

                The problem is, almost every police force in existence in the US either was created in extremely racist times and used to enforce the social order, or, if created after that, was created _by_ people trained in that…and used to enforce the social order. Also, they have all been trained in various ways that are very, very wrong. Like, really wrong, google ‘warrior mentality’ for one of the more horrifically stupid ones.

                But this isn’t ‘every police officer is wrong’, this is ‘almost every structure that police officers exist in is wrong’. Now, there is an ‘almost’ there. Hypothetically, there actually is some Mayberry police force out there, pure in every way. But we have no way of figuring it out. And we want to restructure them anyway.

                But…a good force honestly should not have a problem with this idea. They should proudly stand by their record, and help create the new thing to replace them.

                Even in the bad forces, that doesn’t mean that the officers are unrecoverable. But we do have to rip everything down, and build a new thing, and bring people to lead it in who aren’t going to immediately replicate the old structure. We especially have to retrain who come in from the old system. And bring them in slowly.

                And…the new model might have a lot less police. Most of the system wouldn’t include anyone with the set of job responsibilities that current police officers have. Most of those jobs would be done, but by entirely different people, mostly in parts of the government that wouldn’t look anything like the police.

                I don’t really want to get into it right now, this deep in a conversation, so it might be a good idea for the admin to find one of the ‘defund the police’ explainers and post it here as article.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to DavidTC
                Ignored
                says:

                But…a good force honestly should not have a problem with this idea.

                This is nonsense. Culture/people can be expected to be extremely hard to change. Look at how hard it’s been to get the Church to stop committing sex crimes, which should in theory be much easier.

                Accountability means Joe-Cop, personally, may do something that gets him arrested. Worse, he may already have done that. Organizations exist to further themselves; Their leaders become leaders via that.

                Just accountability would be hard and create pushback without totally restructuring police culture and eliminating vast numbers of police jobs. I also expect that with accountability they’ll have to change this ‘warrior’ ideal on their own because it will be too risky so there’s that.

                Even in the bad forces, that doesn’t mean that the officers are unrecoverable.

                The easiest way to handle bad forces is to destroy the department, start over fresh with new people, and let the old ones get jobs in other departments where they’ll be surrounded in someone else’s culture.

                That will have the added bonus to letting other bad departments know they can change or they can be destroyed.

                And…the new model might have a lot less police.

                Ignoring that this is an order of magnitude harder than just “accountability”, there is a serious disconnect between saying “a lot less police” (i.e. most of the force will lose their jobs) and “a good force should not have a problem with this idea”.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                One thing that probably needs to be restated is that when Camden disbanded and reformed their police, they didn’t have fewer police. They ended up with more police.

                They’re better off now. I think they did the right thing.

                But “disband the police”, in practice, gives you more police at the end of the day.Report

              • Avatar veronica d in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                To be fair, it’s a sample size of one. I expect there were plenty of “particular conditions” to this case.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to veronica d
                Ignored
                says:

                Oh, indeed.

                But I admit to preferring “stuff that has worked in the past” to “stuff that hasn’t been demonstrated to have worked, not exactly, but the sky’s the limit!”Report

              • Avatar veronica d in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t think we have the option of “worked in the past.” Which past? Jim Crow? Reconstruction? Some small German principality in 1604?

                Anti-racism and anti-police-oppression are, sadly, rather new ideas, at least at the scale of a modern US city. Plus, the number of firearms in the US, the ineffectual “drug war,” etcetera. We’re forging new ground.

                We can look to Europe. We can look to Asia. But in the end we’re really trying to build something new —

                — that is, if we have the courage to do it.

                Some of us have courage. Some of us lack the imagination. Some of us, sadly, rather like licking boots. It’s ugly, but John Brown was a hero.

                I’m sure the civil rights movement seemed unthinkable, as did women’s suffrage, gay rights, etcetera. We can do this. It’s messy though.

                #####

                Which gives me an idea. Let’s replace literally every confederate statue with a statue of John fucking Brown. 100% serious.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to veronica d
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, other than the thing that worked in the past in the US, I’m not sure we have examples of things that worked in the past in the US.

                (When it comes to the ineffectual “drug war”, I’d like to think that 30ish states have demonstrated a way forward. Do you think it’s odd that the House hasn’t sent a bill up to die in the Senate?)

                It’s certainly a lot easier to tear down statues than to dismantle police departments (which involves, presumably, taking on the unions).

                They’re getting rid of Aunt Jemima! Which is awesome, symbolically, but doesn’t really do anything beyond the symbolic which is less awesome.

                And if we tear down every statue, remove every Person of Color from every branded product, and put a Black Lives Matter Boulevard in every city with more than 10,000 people in it in America without taking on the Police Unions, the War on Drugs, and instituting reforms in the Police Department?

                We’re going to see cops choking people out on Black Lives Matter Boulevard and the cops will have turned their cameras off and the only record will be the video taken by standers-by with their smartphones.

                We’re in a place now where it’s imaginable to tear down (and replace) statues (with a white guy, of course) but we can’t imagine taking on the Police Unions.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to veronica d
                Ignored
                says:

                I…would not point to Europe as a positive example of what police reformation is going to mean and what things will look like afterwards.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to veronica d
                Ignored
                says:

                John Brown is wonderful from an inspirational point of view, but much less so from a practicality point of view. He thought all the local slaves would join in his movement and that just didn’t happen.

                The more vague and utopian our plans are, the less likely they are to actually work the way we want them to.

                IMHO we’ll be doing very well if we make the police responsible for their actions and put in civilian review boards that can fire them. I’d like to pull the teeth of the unions but I don’t expect that, and THAT would still be a really definable goal.

                I’d also like to destroy an entire department or three, just to show it can be done and to be social experiments. If those work then we’ll have a lot more information on what to do in the future.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Just accountability would be hard and create pushback without totally restructuring police culture and eliminating vast numbers of police jobs.

                *laughs* Sorry, I’ve been in PR mode for a week, defending this for people who are constantly with ‘But what about the good police forces? The ones without any problems? Why are we dismantling them?!’ And I say ‘Well, if they’re good…they really shouldn’t care if we dissolve and recreate them’.

                So, in not PR-mode: Cops will not like this. Almost none of them will. Even the hypothetical ‘good police forces’…which I’m not entirely certain exist. Mostly because…the policing system didn’t ‘go bad’, like people seem to think. It started out horrifically bad, and very very slowly got better, decades behind everyone else, until it firmly dug in and stopped.

                The easiest way to handle bad forces is to destroy the department, start over fresh with new people, and let the old ones get jobs in other departments where they’ll be surrounded in someone else’s culture.

                Exactly. It’s why not a lot of people don’t seem to be caring if ‘police’ exist or not. In the end, we could build something back identical to police and it would be a lot better…we obviously shouldn’t, but…we could. Well, at they’re probably quickly go bad again, with no checks, but…like, a literal clean slate with no changes would be a lot better. But…we should change things while we’re doing it.

                Ignoring that [a lot less police] is an order of magnitude harder than just “accountability”,

                I think a distinction needs to be made between ‘less police’ and ‘less employees‘. I’m not at all clear any of the proposals would result in less government employees. Those people just won’t be police, they wouldn’t be in a police department, and they wouldn’t have the authority to exert governmental force.

                The list of things that local police do is huge, with a lot of very unrelated things, and lot of them don’t require arrest authority _or_ firearms.

                The people who go and deal with some half-naked guy wandering around the street shouldn’t be the same people who try try to find a missing person and shouldn’t be the same people who write traffic tickets.

                I kinda like the bodyguard concept…we don’t ever give anyone both the legal right to issue orders _and_ to shoot people. You don’t get both. (Granted, the police don’t really have that right anyway, but…they think they do.) Instead, we have a force that merely exists to escort government employees around who _do_ have authority. Like a bailiff in a court, or the secret service.Report

              • Avatar Philip H in reply to DavidTC
                Ignored
                says:

                The Secret Service is a bad analogue – they still have investigating counterfeiting as a mandate even though they are no longer in Treasury.Report

          • Avatar George Turner in reply to DavidTC
            Ignored
            says:

            “Among the calamities of war may be jointly numbered the diminution of the love of truth, by the falsehoods which interest dictates and credulity encourages.” –Samuel Johnson in The Idler, 1758.

            “The first casualty when war comes is truth,” California Republican Senator Hiram Johnson, 1917.

            “Journalism is about covering important stories. With a pillow, until they stop moving.” – Iowahawk on Twitter, 2013.

            Last night I noticed something similar to what you describe, except about the number of people killed in the various protests. At first the news was keeping track, and you’ll find article that get up to 11, 13, and even 17. Then about a week ago they stopped reporting the number – completely so far as I can tell from Google searches. You’d have to pour through local news stories to come up with your own updated sum because the national media has apparently decided that such a number would undercut the narrative they’re pushing.Report

            • Avatar DavidTC in reply to George Turner
              Ignored
              says:

              You’d have to pour through local news stories to come up with your own updated sum because the national media has apparently decided that such a number would undercut the narrative they’re pushing.

              That’s really just…there haven’t been that many new deaths. Mostly because the news stopped reporting that everything was chaos, so…crazed looters stopped driving to those areas. I know you won’t believe that, but the news telling people an area is completely lawless will, in fact, make that area somewhat lawless. The news stopped saying it, it stopped being so.

              Anyway, it’s not to fit a narrative. If the media were trying to fit a narrative, they would _either_ be reporting on the massive violence being done by cops _or_ reporting on the deaths ‘in protests’.(1) They’d pick a side.

              But they aren’t, and the problem is not the media taking sides. The media, as always, is on the side of ‘sensationalism’. It shows burning buildings and breathless reports all sorts of stuff. Including people dead during the riots. It will show whatever it can hype.

              However, there is one thing the media is not doing, and it’s slightly weird, because it is one of those things that could be hyped, and often is! Specifically…they are _completely ignoring_ all the videos of random police brutality towards protestors.

              Which is odd, because they’re normally fine with showing that. For example, the police here just killed a man, and I’ve seen that specific video of the killing, on the news. It’s is sensationalism, it is exactly the type of story the news wants to report…not because of a ‘narrative’, they’re just as happy to show a police chase glorifying the police. They want to report it because it’s a video that will make people watch them. It’s basic ratings/hits.

              It’s just…there’s a weird thing. They’re not showing the videos of the crazed police out of control, tear gassing entire streets or hitting people just standing around with rubber bullets. They have hundreds of examples that they should show, seriously, it’s all over Twitter.

              And each of these videos, individually, could filled an entire news day, if they wanted to. They _have done that before_. Shown a particular bad example of the police, and filled an entire day? Remember that guy walking down the sitting protestors and spray gassing the entire line? I can find ten videos worse than that, in minutes.

              Except..it’s hard to deal with that, with the sheer level of that that is going on, and still look like neutral arbitrators. The media have, for once, decided to not be sensationalist, because the most sensational stuff would…piss off conservatives.

              1) This, incidentally, is a pretty mealymouthed way of lumping deaths _by_ police under that. Yes, ket’s blame deaths of people at the hands of the police on the people protesting deaths at the hands of the police. I’ve actually seen the ’17 deaths due to the protests’ articles (They were really just copy/pastes between right-wing sites), and in addition to including stuff that isn’t related to the protest, and lying about circumstances…they just outright ignore Sarah Grossman, presumably because ‘died from tear gas’ doesn’t let them spin her into being somehow at fault. Seriously, that name, right there. She died right near the start of all this, and if it’s not on a ‘list of names’ you’re looking at, that list is deliberately lying.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to DavidTC
                Ignored
                says:

                They’re also fully running with the whole passive voice thing.

                “Man dies after officer-involved kinetic incident, cause/effect blamed”Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Or crap like this… which is *WEIRD*.

                Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                400(ish) NY cops have been injured in the protests.

                There’s also one arrest of a cop and an unclear number of others.

                https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/nearly-400-nypd-officers-hurt-during-nycs-two-weeks-of-protest-over-george-floyds-death/2455285/Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Officer injured is awful vague.

                Could be “Officer hospitalized”, or could be “Officer got a paper cut, was treated by EMTs on scene”.

                Also, no information regarding the source of the injury. Was it the result of a fight with protesters, friendly fire, or did he trip over a curb and scrape his knee?Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                The only actual injury explained in the article is an officer who got thrown from her horse. You have to use the passive voice when you’re talking about the same things done by multiple entities, unless you want something absurd like ‘Horse, protesters, injure 27 police officers’.

                Hell, maybe most of the injuries were like that. Not done by protestors but by the police self-owning.

                You think I’m joking, but…I’m not really. I could legitimately see that the police running around trying to tally up every injury and them including things like ‘Officer shut finger in car door’ and ‘Officer got bad sunburn’.

                I’m not saying that’s what happened, I don’t doubt some protestors actually did get violent, but I am saying: We really need to stop trusting anything the police say about the protests.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to DavidTC
                Ignored
                says:

                This.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to DavidTC
                Ignored
                says:

                Sarah Grossman didn’t die from tear gas exposure. Her dad had to come out and debunk that. Neither tear gas nor pepper spray can make you go into cardiac arrest and start foaming at the mouth two days later. Toxicology tests are due in six to eight weeks.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                Looking into it, you are right that it’s not clear what she died of, so I stand corrected there, but…her father did not ‘debunk’ that she died of that.

                As he made clear, no one is sure of what she died of, and blithely asserting it _wasn’t_ related to the tear gas is just as wrong as my assertion as it was definitively.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to DavidTC
                Ignored
                says:

                Is tear gas known to cause problems 48 hours after exposure when the person is fine 24 hours after?

                If the answer to that is “no”, then blithe assertion is fine.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Um…and you know she was ‘fine’ 24 hours later how?

                However, the answer to your question is: Yes.

                Let me quote quote what tear gas can do from Wikipedia: ‘respiratory illnesses, severe eye injuries and diseases (such as traumatic optic neuropathy, keratitis, glaucoma, and cataracts), dermatitis, damage of cardiovascular and gastrointestinal systems, and death, especially in cases with exposure to high concentrations of tear gas or application of the tear gases in enclosed spaces’

                You noticed the ‘damage of cardiovascular and gastrointestinal systems, and death’?

                The actual effects of tear gas are pretty random and poorly understood. It’s a _nerve agent_, working directly on the nervous system, which makes it incredibly dangerous and random. Which is why it’s banned in war.

                In case you don’t know this, and a lot of people don’t: Tear gas is _only_ authorized for civilian use under the ‘theory’ that it is used defensively, unlike in a war. That it would be used an area denial tool, to keep protestors from going somewhere. To keep them from _walking into_ an area with tear gas in it.

                It’s literally a war crime to use tear gas offensively. I’m not joking or exaggerating…if soldiers used tear gas in a war, it would be a war crime, because they’d be assumed to be using it offensively,where as the police aren’t…except they clearly are, throwing it straight into crowds.Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to DavidTC
            Ignored
            says:

            I really think we need to be careful of the claim that national media is intentionally shaping news or suppressing it.

            First, CNN is not the same as Fox which is different than Epoch Times in terms of their level of honesty and accuracy.

            There are some who are nakedly partisan or ideological like Fox, OAN Sinclair and Epoch, while others like NYT, WaPo, CNN or MSNBC are merely biased in favor of a generic cultural viewpoint.

            Its entirely supportable to say that the reputable media like WaPo and NYT have a weakness for Beltway centrism which leads them to BothSides everything, or a cultural affinity for elites which makes them susceptible to either ignoring working class people or doing a Cletus survey where they pick out a non-representative sample and hold it up as the voice of the people.

            But to go the added step of asserting that there is a common agenda or intent to deceive is not true and not healthy for a democracy.Report

            • Avatar Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
              Ignored
              says:

              I’d say never attribute to media bias what can be explained by media laziness. I actually think a lot of the bias is simply laziness, a failure to make the effort to step outside of one’s expectations. But – can’t you come up with one example of nakedly partisan liberal bias? Is there no one on CNN or MSNBC you can point to and say “he’s just a hack”?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                I freely admit that liberal bias would be in my blind spot.

                And obviously there are nakedly liberal commenters like Maddow but they don’t hold themselves out as news sources.

                So if anyone can identify the liberal Fox News, go ahead and make the case.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Their long-time chief editor and anchor, Shepard Smith, is a gay anti-Trumper.Report

              • Avatar Truth in reply to George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                “Shepard Smith, is a gay anti-Trumper.”

                So because he is of a minority group that trump and the republicans are currently targeting for destruction, you tag him “anti-Trumper” and a “hack”, and your only evidence is his aforementioned membership in a minority that trump and the republicans are currently targeting for destruction.

                Do I have that right?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Truth
                Ignored
                says:

                Conservatives fixate on identity and tokens as magic talismans to ward off accusations of bigotry.

                Milo is gay and has a black boyfriend so he is magically immune to charges of racism; Ann Coulter is a woman so she can’t be accused of misogyny; And so on.

                The way this works is because in conservatives’ worldview, racism and misogyny aren’t real to begin with. Its all just a scam, a hustle and a con job, like something out of a Tom Wolfe novel.

                So the existence of a black person, a gay person, a woman who votes for Trump shatters the liberal argument.
                Because in the conservative mind, what goes for one black person, gay person, woman goes for all of them.Report

              • Avatar Truth in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Apparently I just had a comment deleted because telling someone that if they couldn’t understand how expressing allegiance to the confederacy in 2020 is inextricably tied to racism, they needed to be educated on history, and then providing a link to a Teaching American History page on the Cornerstone Speech given by Alexander H. Stephens on March 21, 1861 is a violation. Of what in the commenting policy I can’t tell, I’ve re-read it four times and can’t find anything that would be a reason under what’s stated.

                At this point, what is and isn’t allowed makes no sense. “He’s gay so he’s a hack” is apparently allowed but telling people they need to become informed about history isn’t. Somehow.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Truth
                Ignored
                says:

                Hey, Truth. If you write a comment with a link in it, then see a typo, then correct the typo? Your comment is automatically pushed into the “suspicious” folder.

                Whether you are a regular commenter, an editor, or a commenter who has been banned multiple times.

                It happens to everybody. There is no deeper conspiracy.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                This is correct.

                (Also, if it contained the N-word that will also do send it to the moderation queue. I don’t know whether that was redacted by Truth or by an editor.)Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s more complicated than that. If the liberal argument is “no minority person can support X”, then all you have to do is show one minority who does. Sometimes that liberal argument is explicit, sometimes implicit, sometimes not made at all and the conservative is jumping to conclusions.

                But that really only addresses the close of your comment. You make three other claims: the talisman, the protection against bigotry, and Tom Wolfe. Let me address these as well.

                The talisman thing? True. There’s no good reason why Candace Owens should have moved up the ranks of political commentators, but there are three bad ones: she’s black, she’s female, and she’s considered good-looking (I personally don’t see it though). There’s also a sense of relief. For years, we’re pulling in tiny numbers of black votes and getting called racist, so we get a little excited when a black person treats us well.

                It’s possible, I guess, to love a black man and be an anti-black racist. It’s possible to be a self-hating woman. The numbers are probably very small. Anyway, the two people you mentioned are provocateurs.

                Is bigotry against a race or sex a fiction? I think it’s way overestimated. It’s also complicated, in the former because there are multiple races and in the latter because everything related to sex is complicated. I think the average accusation of racism or sexism in the modern US is likely to be wrong, and I think the focus on those things is likely doing more damage to race / sex relations than if we stopped talking about them. But both are real.Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                To the extent that angry white voters were voting for whiteness, I denounce it. I’ve often said that the worst thing Trump has done is give permission to Republicans to be no better than Democrats. And I’m not saying any of this to play politics. I really hate ethnicity-whining on any side. I don’t think it’s going to blossom into war in this generation, but it’s a necessary step on the way to it in a future generation.

                That being said, I don’t remember any “tea partiers set fire to the…” stories, much less any “mostly peaceful tea partiers set fire to the…” stories.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                That having been said, after a review we have determined that Truth is, indeed, someone who has been banned repeatedly. As such, the ban will be enforced accordingly.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Will Truman
                Ignored
                says:

                Was it M.A.?Report

            • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Chip Daniels
              Ignored
              says:

              I really think we need to be careful of the claim that national media is intentionally shaping news or suppressing it.

              Uh..okay? I wasn’t trying to say that.

              What is going on is the media is not reporting a very specific item of news, and weirdly it’s _not_ because they’re acting like sensation-chasing idiots which is _normally_ how they fail. And in fact they have failed in that manner in other aspects of this, chasing sensation.

              But…there’s one sensation that they have their fingers in their ears and going LALALALA as long as possible. Because they start showing that on the news…and they lose viewers…yes, even MSNBC. Because they would, functionally, have to stop both-siding it if they starting showing the cops so clearly out of control.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to DavidTC
                Ignored
                says:

                Seems to me it’s just the media moving back to their normal mode of giving deference to the police after the police had a polite word with the corporate masters of said media.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to DavidTC
            Ignored
            says:

            I’m surprised and pleased by hearing that.

            Maybe this nationwide trend of now arresting cops committing violence against protestors actually proves what protestors have been saying this entire time about police violence.

            I’m not sure it proves what they’ve been saying about police violence. (Hasn’t was they have been saying been proven over and over and over and over again?)

            I think it proves what they’ve been saying about direct action, though.

            I hope this actually results in some amount of reform. Police Unions, Qualified Immunity better being described as Unqualified Immunity, reform of confiscation, no-knock warrants… all that stuff.

            It’s good that cops are finally getting arrested.

            It sucks that our national media ain’t worth a damn.Report

      • Avatar Slade the Leveller in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Based on this Twitter thread, very.

        https://twitter.com/greg_doucette/status/1266751520055459847?s=20Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Slade the Leveller
          Ignored
          says:

          I can’t believe that they have no theory of mind whatsoever.

          Like, even *GANGS* have theory of mind.

          How can the cops have no theory of mind?Report

          • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Jaybird
            Ignored
            says:

            They have no theory of mind because they are working on the presumption that they are “good” guys.

            They haven’t quite realized that they are no long considered good.Report

            • Avatar Slade the Leveller in reply to Aaron David
              Ignored
              says:

              I had to look up theory of mind. Perhaps the Manichean outlook on humanity espoused by adherents of the thin blue line is the problem. Black and white, chaos and civilization,with blue between them seems to be the order of the day in police forces these days. I don’t know how we uproot that, but it’s got to go.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Slade the Leveller
                Ignored
                says:

                Agreed. I have my own theories of how we got here (drug war, crime bill) but here we are and coming back from this could be very hard. But necessary, as the defund police idea is the wrong answer. It legitimizes the Bernard Goetzs of the world.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to Aaron David
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t think slow, piecemeal disbanding of current departments and command while gradually setting up new ones operating under better controls is the worst idea in the world. Of course that would take a lot of time and diligence to do correctly. I’m not sure ‘defund police’ takes the challenges seriously. The public eye will be on to the next shiny object soon enough.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Aaron David
                Ignored
                says:

                Trayvon Martin’s mom says we need more police, not less, and George Floyd’s brother and the Floyd family attorney says we shouldn’t defund the police.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Aaron David
                Ignored
                says:

                Yes, it’s important we don’t legitimize the wrong people. Before we do something, we shouldn’t only ask ourselves ‘Is this the right thing?’, but ‘Who will this make look good?’.

                Of course, why abolishing the police would legitimize Bernard Goetzs, of all people, is a bit unknown. Because…he didn’t really have any opinions about the police except that they were useless, and that entire case was more about where self-defense crosses the line into murder. In fact…BLM protestors are also, rather explicitly, protesting that same sort of vigilante justice.

                What a strange logic this is: ‘Guy who thinks system is broken because it doesn’t do enough, so he goes out and kills unarmed people himself‘ might be legitimated by ‘People who think the system is broken and should be dismantled because it kills _too many_ unarmed people‘.

                Because they both think ‘system is broken’, it’s the same thing. No one is ever allowed to think policing is broken again, it’s forever off limits due to Bernard Goetzs thinking that.

                Next topic: Are people who call leftists ‘socialists, collectivists, ‘politically correct’ types, feminists, gay and disability activists, or animal rights activists’ legitimizing the Unibomber? You be the judge!

                …hey, wait, can I assume I’ll start noticing you bring up Bernard Goetzs when we talk about on Stand Your Ground laws, laws which actually _allow_ that sort of vigilante justice? (As long as the killers make some vague ‘I feared for my life’ handwave.) It seems like that sort of law ‘legitimizes’ him a lot more. I’m sure you’ve mention him all the time, I guess I just missed it.Report

  9. Avatar Aaron David
    Ignored
    says:

    Excellent post Kristin. Bravo.Report

  10. Avatar Slade the Leveller
    Ignored
    says:

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/opinion/commentary/ct-opinion-george-floyd-looting-jeweler-20200610-l3bdlwn7kbhjdaavwfkyf45wvy-story.html

    “The day before, my deceased father’s store — his legacy with 30 years of history, full of his memories, his worn antique tools, and the source of livelihood for my sister’s family plus three other Chatham families — was destroyed and damaged beyond recognition and repair.”

    “And when the list of black deaths keeps growing, and the list of acquitted perpetrators grows at the same pace, and there is no national voice or leadership to unite and heal this country, why are we surprised that there is social eruption?”Report

  11. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    At the height of the lockdown, when it became apparent how essential grocery workers (and grocery delivery folks) were, there were quite a few people who observed that “unskilled” workers were pretty danged essential.

    I think that a lot of people who look at the tore up storefronts and burned out rooms who say “well, it’s just property” will find themselves asking “why isn’t someone else running this bodega now? It’s prime real estate!”

    As if there is a bodega stockroom in the back somewhere, where they can restock bodegas from when the old one is gone.Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      In one sense there actually is a bodega stockroom.
      There is always a pool of potential investors and entrepreneurs looking for new opportunities to set up shop, and the shuttered storefront represents for them a prospect.

      If the demand is there, the store will be rebuilt.
      If the risk is higher, the prices will reflect that.

      This is what happened after every other riot.Report

      • Avatar gabriel conroy in reply to Chip Daniels
        Ignored
        says:

        This is what happened after every other riot.

        Not necessarily, or not in anything like a timely fashion. If you had visited the west side of Chicago (near Madison and Western), say, 15 years ago, you’d find it still hadn’t recovered much from the 1968 riots (and, let’s not forget, the police violence in the area…that’s roughly the location where Fred Hampton was murdered).

        Now, at least pre-2020 riots, there was some serious rebuilding. I don’t know how or whether that neighborhood was affected by the rioting.Report

        • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to gabriel conroy
          Ignored
          says:

          Yeah, I was going to say this was not what happened in DC after the 68 riots. I remember in the 90s there were parts that still hadn’t been rebuilt. That might have more to do with landlords than aspiring shop owners though.Report

          • Avatar gabriel conroy in reply to Rufus F.
            Ignored
            says:

            Good point about landlords, etc. (although I know nothing about the DC situation).Report

            • Avatar InMD in reply to gabriel conroy
              Ignored
              says:

              There are certain cities (NY, LA) that are so wealthy and important that it’s hard not to imagine them mostly regenerating but I think they’re the exception. Like Rufus said, DC did not start to really recover from 1968 until 15 years ago with the government contracting boom. And that’s a city with very special circumstances. You can go 30 minutes north to Baltimore and see a city that never has come back and with the loss of manufacturing probably never will. What little progress was made with rejuvenation was pretty well knifed with the riots in 2015.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                In my original comment, “If demand is there” was doing most of the work.

                Most of the riots we are familiar with occurred in poor neighborhoods where demand was low to begin with, and occupied by small businesses which were barely scraping by to begin with.

                In one sense, riots aren’t any different than natural disasters. If a wildfire or tornado destroys a bunch of businesses, some won’t ever recover. And in truth you can find neighborhoods or areas of a city which never recover after a disaster like Katrina.

                But if the underlying business ecosystem is healthy, they will.

                In this particular moment, the entire retail sector is suffering, long before the protests. First due to the long term encroachment of online shopping, then by the Covid crisis.

                So yeah, I would expect that the riots may have pushed a few businesses over the edge, which they were teetering on to begin with.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                They died *WITH* the riots but not *OF* the riots?Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s really weird to see liberals — and not just Chip, he’s only our local representative — saying “if any business failed because of COVID quarantine or being burned down during a riot, it’s their own damn fault for being undercapitalized, and it’s good that they failed quickly”.

                Like, when Wal-Mart cores out a downtown district, they’re upset about that, but I guess they’re OK with the idea so long as nobody makes a buck off of it. (which has been pretty consistent for liberals, so I guess it’s not so strange after all…)Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m not OK with it, just making the observation of how Econ 101 works.

                In both your examples I would also be OK with some massive government intervention to rectify the situation.Report

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

                I’m more ok with a gov intervention for Covid than for a riot.

                “Hey, if we burn down the local stores, the gov will shower us with money?”

                And btw I wanted to give you a +1 for wisdom on the whole natural disaster thing.Report

    • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      One of the things about “stuff” is that it is a marker of social placement.

      Do you have aftermarket rims on your car? Mac or PC? How much jewlery do you wear? Are those Air Jordans? Selvedge denim? The list goes on, but one constant is that the stuff you carry is a marker of wealth. In many communities you show your wealth/worth by diplaying it; jewlery and clothing being a primary marker of this. And, at this point, the ability to carry less stuff is a marker of wealth. You can afford to outsource even the most personal things, while displaying wealth/worth to only the most discerning.Report

  12. Avatar DavidTC
    Ignored
    says:

    Oh my God. Another black man was shot in Atlanta by police, and the protestors have apparently blocked the Downtown Connector.

    I know the news is calling it ‘Interstate 75/85’, but…it’s a little more than an interstate, it’s the Downtown Connector. It is how you travel north and south through the city. They’ve basically broken Atlanta. As evidenced by them blocking it at ten o’clock on a Saturday night causing backup for miles.

    I’m not sure if they’re still blocking it. I’d recommend…get out there Monday about five in the morning, blow up rush hours.Report

    • Avatar DavidTC in reply to DavidTC
      Ignored
      says:

      I’m hardly an expert on this, but killing more people is probably not going stop the protests. I sorta feel that’s going the wrong way.

      In an interesting move, the police chief has resigned, and also requested the immediate termination of the officer who did it.

      Honestly, it seems _slightly_ excessive to immediately terminate him. I’m all for police reform, and holding police accountable, but we should probably give them a trial before execution.

      *holds finger to earpiece*

      Oh. Not that sort of termination. Firing him. Okay. We gonna charge him with anything?

      Wait…why’d she resign _before_ firing him? Oh well, someone did, he’s fired now. We’ll see if there are charges.

      Anyway, favorite quote from the news about this: The Georgia Bureau of Investigation says Brooks obtained a police taser and pointed it an officer.

      Which…three points there:

      One: Passive voice is doing a lot of work. ‘Obtained a police taser’. Are you serious? What you mean a police officer _had their taser taken away_ by someone apparently waking up from a drunken stupor passed out in a car parked in a Wendy’s drive-through. Good job, police, you’re really on the ball there. Nice to know you’re as good at keeping your weapons as not using them. And…the media is just letting the GBI use the passive voice, like police taser just fall like mana from heaven.

      Two: Interesting how that’s a non-lethal weapon in your hands, but you…feared for your life because he had it? Are you scared your tasers can kill people? I mean, they can, but…you guys seem to refuse to admit that.

      Three: Uh…ya shot him in the back as he was running away. We all saw it. There was plenty of video. Yes, he did wave _your weapon_ at you, maybe he actually fired it and missed, the video is a little unclear. (Although, as those only fire once, that would actually make the situation much less dangerous!) But he did that while he was running away. Admittedly, he was taking your weapon with him, which is again your fault…but you knew where he lived, you had not only his car but his license too.

      This was an obviously drunk person (like…you guys literally just gave him a sobriety test) making very dumb decisions, and no threat whatsoever. Not even attacking you guys, just trying to run. Let him run off, and then go arrest him at his house. Or…not, just send him a court date, I don’t know why we need to arrest people for that and stick them in jail, but whatever.Report

  13. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    Ironically:

    Report

  1. June 17, 2020

    […] was some discussion of that in the comments here.  Here are some more thoughts here.  And […]Report

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