SHARE
Philando Castile, who by all accounts was an exceptional human being but shouldn’t be dead no matter what kind of man he was.

As we are sure you have heard, a jury acquitted Jeronimo Yanez, the police officer who shot Philando Castile live on Facebook. For our non-American readers, this seems baffling and strange, given that the entire world watched a man who was buckled into his seat behaving very politely until he was killed.

So let’s explain how the American legal system works, in case someone thought it was about justice instead of rule of law! Firstly, we don’t convict cops who kill people in the line of duty. It’s not 100%, but it’s a rule so ironclad that an exception to it is a moment of national WTF. We actually give police officers who’ve been acquitted fawning profiles in national media where they can complain that they have been irreparably harmed by people being mad about them shooting someone.

When a civilian kills someone, they are arrested and taken to a police station to be interviewed. When a police officer kills someone, his union rep reminds everyone that he is not allowed to be interviewed without some time to relax and unwind. If he is acquitted it’s not uncommon to see cities paying out millions in civil wrongful death suits (which have a lower standard than a criminal trial would) while also having to reinstate the officer with back pay, if he was suspended at all. It all depends on the state and municipality and how strong the union contract is; there is no one standard in America for how to handle this stuff.

Because this is America, we cannot be bothered with common sense or a normal amount of dramatic flourishes. That’s why we’re giving police departments billions of dollars’ worth of equipment: things like the BearCat, which is a fun acronym for a Ballistic Engineered Armored Response Counter Attack Truck. Or they get an APC (armored personnel carrier) or an MRAP (mine-resistant, ambush-protected) or an LRAD (long-range acoustic device, which actually means Bond-villain-y noise weapon) for their SWAT teams. Because post-9/11, the thing we started to worry about was us. We are very punitive on ourselves! If by “ourselves” we mean the not-white people who live here!

This is what a police officer in St. Louis looks like right before he sprays you with military-grade chemical weapons. (note: they don’t care if you’re a journalist.)

For those not familiar, the facts of the case are this: Philando Castile was in a car that was pulled over for a broken taillight. (wasn’t broken.) He told the officer that he was carrying a gun. (perfectly legal in Minnesota.) His girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, and her 4-year-old daughter were in the car. The officer shot Castile through the window. Castile had his seat belt on. The whole thing was streamed live on Facebook.

If you have ever wanted to know how gross and racist America is, it is this: ain’t a white woman alive would have held herself together like Reynolds had to. She narrated the death of her fiance in a calm, even tone. She interrogated the officer politely, trying to get him to say what the problem was, why this was happening. And at the end of the video, that little girl was telling her mommy that everything would be okay. “I’m here, mommy,” said the child too small to be a kindergartner, who had just watched her daddy killed by a police officer. And that’s not even the worst part.

After the officer killed her partner, REYNOLDS calmed the OFFICER. She de-escalated the situation.

It came out later that the officer thought Castile had a “wide-set nose” which matched the description of a wanted suspect and that’s why this all happened. Some other reasons cops have killed black dudes in America recently (this list is not at all exhaustive) are: standing calmly in the middle of the road, trying to protect an autistic client, being deaf, selling cigarettes, jogging, or generally having a large physique and thus appearing to be a “valid threat.”

Florida. Because of course.

So the acquittal of the police officer who killed Philando Castile didn’t happen in a vacuum and wasn’t a shock. It was the assumed outcome. Which is fucked. The juror descriptions read like a how-to-get-an-acquittal dream: two mentioned that in handgun safety classes they’d been told to keep their “hands visible” as though that has ever saved a black man looking down the barrel of a twitchy cop’s gun. One middle-aged white guy said that Diamond Reynolds was “overly calm.” That was the jury.

The trial… well, at one point the jury asked for the officers’ testimony to be read back to them, and the judge refused the request.

And the jury was working in a system that not only has an assumption of innocence for the accused, but which has rules that say if an officer was in reasonable fear of his life it wasn’t a murder. “Reasonable fear” is, of course, a bullshit thing you can’t quantify, and they never do seem to get into just WHY the officer was afraid. They talk about it, but nobody says it. We never do seem to talk about the fact that in America, we are raised to fear people with black skin.

We assume you will go to more newsy places for the news. You come here for snark and witty commentary. We will not try to exhaustively explain this case, and we can’t make jokes about it. There are some fucking things that just aren’t funny, not even in our stock gallows humor kind of way. So far this year, police in America have killed 447 people. So far this year, there have been 188 days.

But here is Philando Castile’s family, and if you still don’t know what racism looks like in America, it looks like a press conference in which grieving black faces have to do a press conference after the acquittal of the police officer who killed their family.

Which everybody knew was coming, despite the evidence, because that is America in 2017.

 

(PS: if you have just read this or anything like it anywhere on the internet and you are white: the absolute WRONG reaction is to find your nearest black person and tell them at length how horrified and outraged you are. DEFINITELY DO NOT ASK how to cope with all this. What you do with that rage is go find you other white people and tell THEM how awful and outrageous this all is – most particularly the ones who don’t already know. This problem we have of racism and death is not within the purview of its victims to solve. The very best rule to follow in life is: don’t be a dick. And that includes not being a dick to people who are grieving and grappling with insanity that we ourselves have forced upon them by asking them to make us feel better.)

[Huffpo/ChicagoTrib/MJ/StarTrib/WaPo]

$
Donate with CCDonate with CC
  • TJ Barke

    You know, part of the reason the cops are getting so militarized is because of our beloved 2nd Amendment, because every suspect could be fucking strapped.

  • Persistent Demme

    I just can’t.

  • memzilla Ω

    White Privilege is being able to carry a weapon in front of a cop and not get shot.

    • Pre-Existing Condition Jack

      White privilege is being able to drive in front of a cop and not get shot.

      White privilege is basically not getting shot by authority figures.

    • PenguinPenguinPenguin

      As a white guy, I agree.

  • folderol

    I hope future generations will figure this out, because we fucked this one up.

  • Skwerl the Taco Hunter

    A prospective girlfriend commented on my posting from last night’s vigil, “I don’t know who you are referring to.”

    I educated her, she shrugged it off asked me to leave the vigil and she is now a former prospective girlfriend.

    • Rachel Book Harlot

      Wow. I’m glad you found out her character before things had gotten more serious. I’m sorry, though. That truly sucks.

    • Rule one: don’t date ignorant people.

    • Pre-Existing Condition Jack

      Wow. Oblivious AF.

      You dodged a bullet on that one, my friend.

    • LadyLaz

      Sorry skwerl. I can handle the lack of knowledge. A lot of stuff going on, but once shrugged off …

  • AnniNoone

    All the white people I tell who don’t already agree just start shouting “WHAT ABOUT BLUE LIVES, HUH? HUH?!” I hate this country sometimes. I am sorry and sad and just feel impotent as fuck.

    • The guys in blue are supposed to be the Good Guys. They really need to weed out the violent, potentially murderous, members of their ranks.

      If Serpico were remade today, the eponymous character would be the villain.

      • Yeah, that’ll happen on the same day the Bloods, Crips, ISIS and congressional GOP get rid of the bad apples. Gangs gonna stick together.

    • Pre-Existing Condition Jack

      Or worse, “ALL LIVES MATTER!” *eyeroll*

      I really, really, really hate being American. Powerless as all hell.

      • Pisto75666

        One of the new(er-ish) things I’ve seen on my Facebook wall is essentially ‘well we all need to just stop fighting and come together’ kind of sentiment. Which yeah, I agree with but that’s been said a million times and honestly, it’s just not going to happen IMO.

        • Pre-Existing Condition Jack

          It’s all just words. “We all need to just stop fighting and come together” is as self-absolving as “I will pray for you”. By evoking the royal “we”, the seek to separate themselves from all of it because it is just too damned uncomfortable for some white people to ask “what have I done or did not do that contributed to this and how can I change it?”

          “We” will never “come together” because “we” is full of really, really awful people who just want to eat the Earth.

          • Pisto75666

            And many more awful people more than willing to hand them a knife & fork and the ketchup bottle.

          • AyeDiosDrinko

            Right, exactly. The thing to respond when people give their platitudes is “okay, will I be seeing you at the next x meeting/protest? Would you be willing to call your legislators about x?”

          • Pre-Existing Condition Jack

            Exactly. I look at it like this, there are two basic replies to these situations, do something or say you’ll do something.

    • AyeDiosDrinko

      What about the slave owners!!

      • Pre-Existing Condition Jack

        “States Rights ™”

    • miss_grundy

      Perhaps when they start with that shit, we should remind them that their “code of silence” makes their lives harder on the street when they allow the bad cops to continue to be among them. You can support good police and good police work AND still criticize bad police officers who make the lives of their fellow cops and the community harder.

      • PenguinPenguinPenguin

        THIS!!!!!! So much this!!!!!

        I will trash a bad cop, bigly. But, I will praise a good cop even more bigly.

        Get rid of the bad cops and the problem goes away. Stop protecting the very small percentage of shitty cops and get them the fuck off the force.

        Why is that so hard to understand?

    • KillerMartinis

      My stock response: Right about the time people are blue, we’ll start worrying about the racial implications of blue lives. Until then, I’m a Marine’s wife and a thing I know about taking a job where you carry a gun and are empowered to kill civilians is that it’s not for everyone, and it shouldn’t be, and it’s good both for the people in the uniform and the civilians if we make sure that only people who can take that kind of mental weight on responsibly get sworn in.

      • MisterShoebox

        Smurf lives matter. Na’Vi lives matter. I’m being glib because I’m numb. This entire situation was just a grade-a Clusterfuck.

  • Wellstone En Resistencia, Coño

    I don’t care for the police. Never have. Won’t in the future. I don’t see them to be on my side (and I’m white.) My strategy is to stay the fuck away from them and to keep them the fuck away from me.

    • Pre-Existing Condition Jack

      Mine as well. Don’t trust guys who claim they want to “protect” me who are wearing face obscuring masks and carrying machine-guns.

      The militarization of the police force should terrify everyone in this country. It wasn’t always this way. Cops did not always carry machine guns or dress like fascist fever dreams. Cops were always largely crappy, but now they’re millitant and crappy.

  • Skwerl the Taco Hunter

    So I take it the NRA has issued a statement?

    *Stop laughing!

    • jesterpunk

      They where strangely silent about this for some reason I cant quite think of. I wonder why…

  • jesterpunk

    There is also a big difference between how dispatchers and police handle calls about people with guns.

    https://centraloregoncoastnow.com/2015/11/03/colorado-man-goes-on-murderous-rampage-after-911-dispatcher-lectures-panicked-caller-on-open-carry-law/

    However, the 911 dispatcher declined to send police and reminded Bettis that Colorado allows gun owners to legally and publicly carry their firearms out in the open.

    Police eventually did respond — but not until 33-year-old Noah Harpham had already shot two women and a man with the rifle that had concerned his neighbor at least several minutes earlier.

    Dispatchers declined to respond to the report about Harpham,who was white, and reminded the caller, who is also white, that Colorado is an open carry state.

    However, dispatchers in Ohio sent police to two calls last year involving John Crawford, a black man, and Tamir Rice,a black boy, who were each shot and killed on sight by law enforcement officers — although they were each carrying toy weapons in an open carry
    state.

    • Red Bird Ω

      Exactly. Gun rights are for whites.

      • jesterpunk

        Its not just gun right, I was pulled over for speeding when I was younger and took off my seatbelt and went into the glove box to get my license and registration while the cop was walking up to my car. No one teaches you what to do when you get pulled over except they need your license, registration and insurance card. Nothing happened to me but I am a really pale white guy. I have friends who are minorities who have been treated a lot worse when they asked a cop for directions in the same town I got my ticket. Cops do treat you differently depending on the color of your skin and how you look.

        • Red Bird Ω

          Oh, I know. America is a white supremacist country. That has always been true.

          I’m a little surprised that minorities can’t even ask for directions from the police. What happened when they asked?

          • jesterpunk

            The cops at first treated like criminals, they started yelling keep your hands where I can see them. Yelling dont move, just freaking out for no reason at all and escalating what should have been nothing to almost a major issue.

          • Red Bird Ω

            That’s scary. How does asking where something is set them off? Somewhere down thread another commenter said that the police VR training for threatening scenarios exclusively shows black men as the aggressors. So there is a mental conditioning it seems.

  • ExecutorElassus

    Can I use my rage and anger at This Bullshit to justify whatever lingering guilt I might have over deliberately estranging myself from my father — a man who was a brooding drunk all my younger life and who was so seethingly mad about immigrants that he was willing to say, about Donald Trump a known destructive agent being used against the US by a hostile foreign power, that he “would never do anything to hurt this nation or its security” and who, in fact, spent his entire adult life working for *this very same racist criminal justice system* and never once thought to remark how fucked up and racist it is and instead went so far as to complain multiple times about “reverse racism” being the reason for his mistreatment at work — and refusing to communicate with him in any way this weekend, “Fathers’ Day” be damned?

    • SeekingCovfefeBarbie

      Yes.

    • Jeff Ackerman

      Don’t feel guilty. You had no choice in who raised you or where you were born. You can make choices as to who you call friends and those you call acquaintances. Life is too short to put up with BS.

      • Yr. Gma

        This. If you can get away from the toxic parent, by all means do it.

    • ExecutorElassus

      NB: should be “dispel” instead of “justify” in the first line.

      The thing that makes me the angriest is the realization, fairly late in life, that he actually has a lot of very good qualities for which I really admire him, but that they are more than outweighed by this shit (among other shit) and that I never really got to have a healthy relationship with him after about kindergarten. I resent that he chose to wallow in bullshit rather than be the father I needed and deserved.

  • miss_grundy

    You would think that a police officer with the name of Jeronimo Yanez wouldn’t be such a putz. Que carajo le pasa a este comemierda?

    • Rachel Book Harlot

      I know, right? You’d think we could all pull together. What a force we would be if we did. Pero desafortunadamente el racismo también existe dentro de la comunidad hispana. It’s something that I think we within the latino community do not like to talk about. And then of course, in this case, there is also the color blue to contend with. It’s terrible on many counts.

      • miss_grundy

        Verdad. Too many of the latino ethnic groups look on each other with hostility or suspicion and that is not a good thing.

        • AyeDiosDrinko

          If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard a family member say “we spell our name with an *S*. We aren’t some filthy Puerto Rican’s.” Anecdotal, I know, but much like colorism, regionalism (for lack of a better word) is cancerous.

    • Wellstone En Resistencia, Coño

      Exactly. Como que se le olvida al pendejo ese que su gente también es discriminada. If he weren’t wearing a police uniform he would probably end up detained and deported just for looking the way he does or, worse, shot in his car too.

      • Rachel Book Harlot

        Part racism, part the problem of the “blue wall”, and other things like the fact that, unfortunately, there are some who are willing to sell out in order to be seen as not one of “them”. Who think of themselves, and want to be thought of, as one of the “good” ones.

        • Ricky Gay

          Sheriff Clarke?

        • The Green Bastard

          See also: Coulter, Ann.

          • Ricky Gay

            Cannot unsee

          • Wellstone En Resistencia, Coño

            Ann is a cold-hearted dude.

          • The Green Bastard

            She loves to thinks so. In the end, she’s still a female & will be treated accordingly by her ‘peers’ when they have no one else to throw under the bus.

          • Ricky Gay

            She won’t even make a good bump

          • miss_grundy

            She will be treated like the character of Serena Joy in “The Handmaid’s Tale”. She wrote the policy that is used on women in Gilead. Which makes her a traitor to her own sex.

        • Anna Elizabeth

          If Dad was reminded of his racist attitude, he’d pull out a homily about all the Black Chicago PD officers he was “friends” with. “Thin Blue Line”

      • miss_grundy

        Eso!

  • II Gosala

    That P.S. — spot on.

    • vivian

      I thought so too. Only I wish it was in 14-pt. bold at the top of the article.

      • KillerMartinis

        I felt like it was a thing you tell people right after that video. Otherwise cause, effect, and bullshit.

        • vivian

          smart. Also really enjoyed your post yesterday about the Wedding Planner abomination. Many thanks – you have a great way with words (and thinky parts too).

          • KillerMartinis

            Cheers!

  • Jeff Ackerman

    I am a person that keeps a year round tan. The experiences that I’ve had here in Alaska with law enforcement, both Alaska State Troopers and Anchorage Police have been very non-eventful. Not because of me either, I have a big mouth at times and have not always behaved as a gentleman. Law enforcement applicants in Alaska have to pass very stringent exams, both physical and psychological. IF they pass, they receive plenty of training before they start working as an officer. This weeds out the vast majority of power hungry, aggressive, and domineering people. Alaska doesn’t have many problems with law enforcement officers like a lot of states do. Maybe if those states came out of the stone age and adopted better screening of applicants there would be less problems. Its cheaper to weed out the bad apples and train, than pay lawsuits. Change needs to come from the top, until they elect people that want to make change, shootings like this will still happen. Just my two bits….

    • AyeDiosDrinko

      You’re also discounting that a lot of police departments are racist from the top down. American Police originally formed as slave patrols.

      • Jeff Ackerman

        A good friend of mine was a patrolman in Watts many years ago. He quit LAPD and moved to Alaska in the 1970’s. In his own words, he was tired of being a walking, talking target. Every day he and his partner were assaulted, bricks were thrown onto the roof of the car, one day it was a couch from a 4 story apartment building. He stepped into a culture that had escalated out of control. He blamed the politicians and LAPD management, not the people he dealt with. I have an acquaintance that retired from the police department in a Texas city. He kept a cardboard box of throwaway handguns in his vehicle trunk. They were to plant on someone. A friend from Illinois worked as a county Deputy. He said the people that were always in trouble got older, and he started having problems with their children. Another friend trained incoming officers and ended up the Child of Police. All I’m trying to point out is it’s complicated. There are no easy answers.

        • AyeDiosDrinko

          Ghettoside is an EXCELLENT book about the LAPD system (that manages to neither demonized minorities or the police).

          It’s not *that* complicated. Individual stories are, to be sure, but the system itself works as designed. Quite beautifully.

        • LadyLaz

          The microcosm of stop and frisk shows the interplay of bad policing-increasing hostility-resulting in increased bad policing

  • Bill D. Burger

    Old white guy with a loaded rifle stands on a street corner in Kalamazoo, MI for 45 minutes threatening everyone, making obscene gestures and screaming obscenities and is surrounded by police who eventually ‘talk him down’ and arrest him….and later find out he literally was off his meds. Good work and a successful outcome.
    How long would it have taken for a black man in the same situation to look like Swiss cheese?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQwlfXdDDYA

    • TX Dept. of Space Tacos

      gave him his gun(s) back too, IIRC.

      • Pre-Existing Condition Jack

        I am sorry, TX, I love my Constitution, but I just really, really, really hate guns. I have never owned one. I will never own one. The sight of them makes me feel terrified to the point that I have actually vomited.

        Guns make people bad. I have seen people change the moment a gun is in their hands. I’m sure you have as well. Everything changes, demeanor, facial expressions, attitude, even the voice changes.

        The again, maybe that’s just my bias.

    • miss_grundy

      Well, if you use the Tamir Rice situation as an example, they would have shot the black man while still riding up to the scene.

  • Yr. Gma

    I’m curious about your PS, km. I don’t think it would even occur to me to go tell a black person how outraged I am by this. I am outraged, but mostly I think I’ll just vent to anyone who happens to be listening. In my case, that would likely be just my (mostly) white family and my BFF who is an old hippie like moi. If one of my black friends should happen to be in earshot, she is going to hear it, too. So there are white people who set out to find black people specifically to tell them about their outrage? Weird. (Oh, and I’ll take my outrage to the voting booth, too.)

    • KillerMartinis

      OH MY GOD YES. A thing white people do FREQUENTLY is try to make sure everyone knows they’re not a racist by telling not-white people how heartbroken they are about racism. This occurs most often right after a shooting or a verdict. It’s actually a subject of academic study, and also there’s a branch of psychology exploring how to deal with the knock-on trauma of a white person demanding you soothe them about how awful it is that people who look like them hurt people who look like you. Check out any police brutality thread on Twitter by a dude called @absurdistwords to watch it in action.

      • Yr. Gma

        Learn something new every day. So I’m the weird one.

        • Jan_in_the_pan

          You are not the weird one at all. It’s hard to understand something that you never experienced. Just be prepared when you do come across it- the experience is frustrating.

          • Yr. Gma

            I guess if I do witness something like this, I think I’ll ask the white person expressing the outrage to a black person what he/she intends to do to stop the problem. I can do that, I guess, being white, but is that something the black person can ask? Is that part of the problem? I guess if all the white person wants is to be vindicated for centuries of abuses against black people, solving the underlying problem is not part of the equation. (Sometimes I’m glad I’m really old,)

          • KillerMartinis

            I think the best thing is really to take over the counseling that people are looking for. This happens a fair amount to me on social media, and if I’m honest I think our best option is to divert it so that other folks don’t have to deal with it. We all have emotions to process, but there are ways to do that, and ways to not.

          • Yr. Gma

            Well, I’m not very good at diverting. I’m better at confronting head on.

          • KillerMartinis

            then respectfully, I’d say that if you’re not in a place that you see this to begin with then it doesn’t impact you in the slightest, but should you see it your responsibility should be to stop it from impacting the already-hurt.

        • Pre-Existing Condition Jack

          This is by no means the same thing, but I’ll take a shot at it anyway.

          I love my sister-in-law to death, but she did this thing one time. She’s a nurse, right? And she knows that I am mentally ill. Anyway, she comes up to me one day, hugs me and starts telling me about how “awful” it is that one quarter of all people killed by cops are also mentally ill. She told me “I am outraged!” her exact words. She tried to school me on something I really, really know all to well.

          Yeah, she meant well but in the end, she kinda made it more about her outrage than about the issue itself. That was super. Freakin’. Annoying. It happened on the heels of the James Hall shooting in California back in January. It just wasn’t the right time for her to do that.

          Does that make any sense?

      • William Cook

        I feel like a lot of it to is that these are people who want to feel like they’re doing something but don’t want to put in the effort, so they rush out to ‘be supportive’.

        “Talk to another white person? What if they disagree? That sounds like a lot of work and I don’t want to put any of my own relationships on the linw or make trouble in my own community. Hey, will understand, and surely having a white person agree with them will make them feel much better, despite the fact that I clearly intend to do nothing about it.” *grabs SJW card and runs off to get it punched*

    • Pre-Existing Condition Jack

      Happens more than you might think. Nobody wants to feel like the “baddie”. There are members of my own family who do this exact thing. It’s like “mansplaining” but for racists.

    • Jan_in_the_pan

      The majority of white people in America do not associate themselves as part of the oppressive class that keeps institutionlaized racism running. They either don’t see themselves as part of the problem or completely deny there is a problem all together. So when a very blantantly racist event does occur, the vindication that they are not part of that racism is more important to them than trying to obliterate institutionalized racism completely.

  • pgjack

    There is no doubt that America is a racist country. But so are most countries in one form or another. In the case of police violence against blacks the police certainly seem more quick to pull the trigger than they are when the suspect is white but once it goes to trail I think the juries are more biased in favor of police than racist. But America’s government at all levels is certainly biased in favor of whites. The laws and regulations don’t always read that way but they are enforced in a biased manner. I think most Americans would like a peaceful multicolored and multicultural society but for some reason we don’t seem able to achieve that goal. Maybe the next generation will make it, I hope so.

    • KillerMartinis

      It’s racism.

    • AyeDiosDrinko

      If “most” Americans wanted that, we’d have that.

    • ThirdAmendmentMan

      No most white people don’t want that. They want the police and government to continue to oppress blacks. That’s why it is the way it is and that’s why it isn’t changing.

    • William Cook

      Most of the white people who think they want that suddenly get real defensive if they feel like their privilege is being diminished.

  • Bill D. Burger

    Hermann Göring was born too soon…or Donny would have had his perfect DOJ head:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fG5tqIQdzB8

    …..and Dept of Education head also/too…. course’ Betsy is a good substitute when you can’t have the real thing.

  • Anna Elizabeth

    Well said, KillerMartinis.

  • Spotts1701, Resistance Pilot

    Catch-22 for minorities who get stopped:

    Stays still, gets shot – “He should have complied with the officer’s orders!”

    Complies, gets shot – “He shouldn’t have moved!”

    • TJ Barke

      Stop resisting!
      I’m not!
      I mean stop being black!

  • Anna Elizabeth

    My dad *was* a Racist, hair-trigger-temper Cop. He reveled in abusing his authority.

    • Sorry to read that. It’s a heavy burden.

      • Anna Elizabeth

        I try every day to be a better human than he was.

        • In some ways, bad people make great role models.
          Just do the opposite.

          • Anna Elizabeth

            Indeed. It’s not difficult to be better than *he* was, I try to keep a higher standard too.

          • Anna Elizabeth

            ~hugs~

          • Predisenting Ron

            That’s why my daughters turned out so well, while my siblings are entitled little shits.

        • Pre-Existing Condition Jack

          You succeed every day by my account.

          • Anna Elizabeth

            ~hugs~ that means a lot to me Jack, thank you. :)

    • Cliff Hendroval

      Yeah, my dad is an asshole as well. Once I got free of that orbit I learned that the best way to deal with things is to not do what he’d do. It’s a bitch growing up with it, though.

      • Anna Elizabeth

        Yeah. It took me decades to escape them.

        • Cliff Hendroval

          I was lucky. I did exactly what Dear Old Dad wanted me to do and got an ROTC scholarship. I just chose a college some 700 miles north and found out that what I’d grown up learning wasn’t the whole story.

          I’m sorry about your own situation and that it took you so long to get out. I’m glad that you’re free now.

          • Anna Elizabeth

            Thank you. I tired similar, I got a scholarship to a top military prep school to try and get away, but my health failed and they sent me home to him.

          • But enough of the wallowing! Let’s do what we’re here to do!
            Make fun of the new conservatives and champion our new heroes

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XafNHD9ySo

          • Anna Elizabeth

            Hear hear!

          • Mike Rhodes

            Anyone who hasn’t read it yet should check out Al’s new book, Giant of the Senate.

    • The Green Bastard

      You’re probably all the good he left in the world, then.

      • Anna Elizabeth

        Thank you. :)

  • The Librarian

    I live in Not America and I find this baffling, especially that military grade hardware. That I have never seen in my city……. :P

    • Cliff Hendroval

      I will say that the first time I saw police carrying Uzis, it was the German Federal Police in Frankfurt airport in 1984. This was at the tail-end of the leftist terrorism era (Baader-Meinhofs, Red Army Brigade, etc.).

      • The Librarian

        You remind me that I was in Israel in the 80’s and the soldiers carry their guns all the time There, I felt safe, but if I saw that here, I’d be very nervous

    • Predisenting Ron

      London Ontario appears to have invested in some heavy-duty armoured vehicles – not military but somewhere in that neighbourhood. I have no idea why – the worst crimes in the city in recent years seem to have been multiple instances of massive corruption in the city government.

  • SeekingCovfefeBarbie

    I’m an older white woman and I’m wary around cops because of incidents and verdicts like this.

    • KillerMartinis

      It is highly unlikely that the police will decide you’re more of a problem now than you ever have been before, unless you involve yourself in protests. I’ve been gassed and sprayed enough that I have opinions on which chemical weapons I prefer my government use on me; weirdly this only ever happens to me when I am covering civil unrest that involves black people. The only times I have been hit or bruised by police, it has been covering issues of racism and police brutality. The only times police have shot at me have been when I have been covering those things.

      To put that into context: I have also covered armed standoffs staged by entirely white people and law enforcement were nearly solicitous. You and I? We’re fine. And that’s the problem.

      • Pre-Existing Condition Jack

        Bingo.

    • Anna Elizabeth

      I have been in situations with the Police – suicide attempts – that I am certain a Black male would not have survived. White skin makes a huge difference, even when a person is openly Transgender.

      When I see a police car, I remember rides in handcuffs to the ER. What does a Black man see? Does he see that he could die right then if the police decide he looks “suspicious”?

      • Bemused Australian

        I’m a white bloke. A share house I lived in got raided at 5 am. The cops rang the door bell rather than just knocking the front door down. I opened the door and there were two guys with a battering ram and a couple of others with hand guns out. I was wearing boxer shorts and had an early morning hard-on which had escaped them.

        I’ve always thought that if it was the US, I’d have taken a beating, or got shot. As it was, the police were quite polite. They’d raided the wrong people, so were also incompetent. We had some pot on the lounge room table. They weren’t very interested.

        • KillerMartinis

          Christ imagine that happening to an indigenous person… yeah, that’s how we got to basically all of NT and WA.

    • AnnieGetYerFun

      I am white and middle aged and have had exactly 1 good encounter with the police, and several very unpleasant encounters (even though I am unfailing polite and deferential). If I were a person of color, I can guarantee that the cops I have experienced so far would have arrested me, at the very least.

  • Cheesus Crust _ Rebel

    As a nation, we are trained from the very beginning to see something “black” as something bad and inherently evil. We use the terms “black and white” to describe moral decisions, with “black” being the the morally incorrect choice and “white” being the morally correct one. Our media uses that color to denote evil, and to identify the “bad guy” in movies and TV. When you see something dark, you are supposed to identify it as something to be afraid of. Black = bad, white = good.

    Further, many law enforcement officers are trained to see black as a threat. When you run scenarios, many of the “bad guys” are usually decked out in something black. When you are shooting at targets, the area you aim at is black, the silhouette is a black outline, and some targets themselves are black. My law enforcement academy had a virtual reality program designed to test prospective officers in their knowledge of deadly force. We had about 3 weeks of training, first you went over the use of force continuum, and discussed how to use and apply it, then you went over the deadly force statutes. In Georgia, it was Ability, Opportunity and Jeopardy. The person had to have the ability to inflict serious bodily injury or death, they had to have the opportunity, and you had to feel like your life, or the lives of others, could be in jeopardy based on ability and opportunity. Most states statutes on the use of deadly force read something like that. Then you had your firearms training. At the end, they put you in a VR program designed to tie all of that training together. They have all sorts of scenarios where you encounter a “threat” and have to decide what level of force to use. In every single scenario during my VR time – the “threat” was a black man. Every. Single. One.

    Military and Law Enforcement have this saying: You train like you fight and you fight like you train. You train and train and train so that when the time comes, you rely on memory and reaction because you can forget about reasoning and higher brain function.

    Many law enforcement academies and, let’s face it, the culture of this nation – trains us to see “black” as a threat, and for law enforcement, it is hammered home into memory and reaction. So when that adrenaline kicks in and reaction takes over – it will usually not end well for a dark-skinned individual.

    I am not justifying or excusing – far from it. What I am saying is that we, as a nation, and especially those of us who aren’t dark-skinned, need to start paying more attention to our words, our deeds and how we train our children. We need to stop using “black” as our definition of evil, scary and not morally correct – and “white” as the paragon of all things virtuous and good.

    • Pre-Existing Condition Jack

      Absolutely. Words do matter. If you think something is evil, just say “evil” or any other word for “evil”. The same with “white”. Colors have no morality. The color white doesn’t care if it is good or evil. The color black knows no such thing either. Colors are decidedly morally ambiguous.

      There are much better words and we need to use them.

      • Bemused Australian

        I don’t like applying the term ‘evil’. People can be all types of vile, and do awful things, but labelling them ‘evil’ dehumanises them. Humans do terrible things, and labelling people as evil is denial of what we’re capable of by assigning an arbitrary category.

        • Pre-Existing Condition Jack

          I agree. That’s why i limited it to “things” and not people. But anything goes there, just don’t dehumanize and don’t apply race to morality. There’s good people, bad people and varying degrees of both in between.

          Of course, I do use “evil” in a more snarky way. A massively impressive pizza is “evil”, Stephen King’s dog Molly is “Thing of Evil”, a great movie is “Evil Dead”, and so on.

          • Bemused Australian

            Nothing is more evil than some properly ripe Gorgonzola!

            *drools*

          • Pre-Existing Condition Jack

            Amen to that!

        • William Cook

          This. Calling something evil is a way to dismiss it as a result of some inexorable force, instead of addressing the real problems that would cause a human being to behave that way. There is no evil, only fucked up people.

          Then again I’m of the position that even terrorists themselves are victims of terrorism, warped from the decent human beings they had the potential to be.

    • AyeDiosDrinko

      Not just the color black, they’re trained to see minorities as threats.

    • Red Bird Ω

      The interesting thing about your story is that fact that they were able to put a black man in every single VR scenario but for years couldn’t figure out how to put a black man in a video game. It’s amazing to me how precise racism can be.

  • Bitter Scribe

    When my cousin was a teenager, he was out driving with his mom and they were pulled over for something or other. My cousin is Greek like me, but he has black hair and olive skin (not common among Greeks).

    The cop told his mother to make sure my cousin kept his hands on the wheel at all times during a traffic stop because he “looked Mexican.” What struck them both was the completely natural way he said this, like it was the most logical thing in the world.

    Bonus points for guessing the state. Hint: It has an “x” in the middle.

    • Jeff Ackerman

      Been there not going back, the place is full of rednecks in blue collar occupations that wear white sheets at their meetings.

  • Swampay

    “Ballistic Engineered” is meaningless. Yeah, they just make that shit up to make a fun acronym.

    • KillerMartinis

      OK but without the acronyms would we even HAVE a military? IME the whole thing breaks apart if you make them use real words.

    • Latverian Diplomat

      Ballistic Engineered means it comes with Truck Nuts pre-installed.

  • Nockular cavity

    You notice how the “thin blue line” cliche has become more popular as cops have been criticized for shootings?

  • Lefty Wright

    Considering the number of not guilties, not simply a hung jury because a few people will never convict a cop of anything, I question how aggressive the prosecution is, from jury selection to refuting defense claims. When you think of the cop in Tulsa just acquitted, the Tamil Rice Rice shooting, where the cop car slides almost into a kid and nonstop immediately comes out shooting, or The killing of two people following a car chase where 13 cops fired 137 shots, one in particular firing almost 50 shots, including a final full magazine while standing on the car hood firing almost point blank at the driver. No weapons were found, you have to wonder why there was not at least a hung jury. The judge ruled that since he could not determine which cop fired which of the twenty or more fatal rounds that killed the driver first, he could not find any cops responsible. So remember that strategy too. Teamwork. All of you start pumping rounds into the victim’s head and heart. You get off!! What most cops are ignoring is that this unpunished violence by dirty cops makes it more dangerous for all cops. No one, especially blacks, trust them anymore. Meaning like too many cops do now, they will shoot first and make excuses later.

    • AyeDiosDrinko

      The New Jim Crow lays it out beautifully. The court system is set up so that it is virtually impossible to convict an officer/department.

  • It’s either “she was too calm” or “she was hysterical”.

    Women of color, and women in general, have much to grieve in this racist, bigoted society.

    Excellent post, killermartinis.

  • Latverian Diplomat

    We need calmness profiling…it’s the only way to be safe.

    • Bemused Australian

      Or maybe Soma for all. That could work

      • Latverian Diplomat

        Give it to the police first, apparently.

        • Bemused Australian

          A compulsory regimen of benzos for cops is actually a pretty good idea…

  • KillerMartinis

    Something to keep in mind that I didn’t put in the article, but for context: that picture of that cop? That was from St. Louis, which you may know better as Ferguson. I took the picture about ten seconds before he maced me, point blank. He told me I was in the wrong place, and that I better never show my face again.

    I have been told on more than one occasion by uniformed, on-duty law enforcement that I was ‘worse than the black people’ because I ought to know better. (that’s the polite restatement. You can imagine they used phrasing I will not repeat here. You can also infer they never said this when they knew they were being recorded, or when anyone that wasn’t white was in earshot.) The point they were trying to get across: I was on the wrong side of the line, and the line is determined by the color of our skin.

    If I have PTSD because I was caught in the crossfire of police militarization when I was *covering* it, imagine what it’s like to be the subject of it. If journalists are fair game, imagine what happens when the cameras aren’t rolling.

    Those cops were right about there being a line. They just didn’t realize it’s them on the wrong side of it.

    • KillerMartinis

      I should also add that the law enforcement officers who aren’t fuckbags are not fuckbags and a lot of them do their damnedest to root that shit out. There are good cops out there. It’s just that the bad ones are awful.

      • Luciano

        But these good cops never say or do nothing about the bad cops, they protect the bad cops, So for me they ARE part of the bad cops.

        • KillerMartinis

          That you don’t know something is happening doesn’t mean that it isn’t.

          • Luciano

            And what this should mean? Good cops are doing something about bad cops but secretly? Because if they are doing something it’s impossible to see any result.

          • KillerMartinis

            It’s not! At all! It’s all available publicly! Again, that you’ve not seen a thing isn’t some kind of confirmation that it’s not out there. You’ve just not seen it. Which is fine! Everybody can’t see everything!

      • Predisenting Ron

        The bad ones get the attention. And, from what I can see from Up Here*, the praise.

        * We’re not innocent. We’ve got bad cops too, and even entire bad police departments. But mostly people don’t end up dead. Mostly.

    • Bemused Australian

      That’s fucked up KM. Congrats on keeping your cool.

      • KillerMartinis

        …I failed miserably at keeping my cool. Turns out I’m a shit journalist that way.

        • Bemused Australian

          You didn’t give them an excuse to stomp your guts out. That’s keeping your cool.

    • AnnieGetYerFun

      Holy shit, girl, I had no idea you covered stuff like that. I thought we had all agreed upon a no-pants snark brigade (often drunken) but you’re out actually covering this stuff? Wth pants?

      • KillerMartinis

        oh, yup, I have a whole journalismism thing I do when I’m not insulting Ben Carson here! My beat started with poverty generally and then branched out to power imbalances and oppression because how the fuck do you avoid that? I cannot recommend this as a life choice, but also more people should do it.

        • William Cook

          Thanks for all your good work.

      • House0fTheBlueLights
        • KillerMartinis

          ah, you’re a love!

  • Marcus Landon

    Is it racism when one “person of color” – whether a cop or not – kills another? The author’s leftists delusions necessarily lead her to the automatic conclusion that the shooting resulted from the officer’s racism and his acquittal from the juror’s racism. The author obviously failed logic. The fallacies in her conclusion are gaping canyons. Could the shooting have been racially motivated? Unless we can delve into the officer’s psyche, we will never know. Could the jury all be racists? Perhaps, but to know that for sure we would need almost an identical case but with the victim being Hispanic, like the officer.

    • ThirdAmendmentMan

      Is it racism when one “person of color” – whether a cop or not – kills another?

      No

      • KillerMartinis

        It is adorable that you think racism is about white vs. not-white. However, it’s not excusable. We recommend some research.

        • ThirdAmendmentMan

          The first sentence is a quote from the original comment. I wish Disqus had a better method for quoting.

          • Bemused Australian
          • Dudleydidwrong

            “Is it racism when one “person of color” – whether a cop or not – kills another?”

            A simple method is to Copy->Paste, then add quotation marks.

          • redblack

            which is my tactic when i want to corner someone with whom i disagree. that way, he can’t edit his original post without looking like an even bigger asshole than he (probably) already is.

          • KillerMartinis

            For some reason Disqus hadn’t displayed your last sentence, I retract everything!

    • KillerMartinis

      Ironically, for someone who uses big words this poster has real trouble with the concept of data and preponderance of evidence.

      Or maybe I’m using the word “ironic” in the Alanis Morrissette way? Is this like rain on your wedding day or is it actual irony? Cast your votes below.

      • Bemused Australian

        Or maybe I’m using the word “ironic” in the Alanis Morrissette way?

        Gaaarrrggghhhh! I hate that song so so much! IT ISN’T IRONY. STUFF SUCKING ISN’T IRONY. IT MUST BE CONTRARY TO EXPECTATIONS!!!!elevenelevn!!111

    • Nockular cavity

      “You failed logic.”
      -Guy demonstrating an argument from ignorance.

    • therblig

      yeah, after “leftist delusions” i became convinced that you’re just another asshole who needs to be blocked.

      blocked.

    • Bemused Australian

      So… racism is a leftist delusion because people with varying melanin levels all do violent things?

    • Pre-Existing Condition Jack

      Really? You’re trolling this?

      Okay then, when cops start gunning down crackers like you for nothing more than exercising your second amendment “rights”, maybe you’ll get the message.

      Or, to put it another way, an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us. Philando Castile was one of US. You are not. Crawl you petty ass back over to deadbrietbart and find a new set of talking points.

    • Bemused Australian

      Look up Structural Violence

    • JustDon’tSayCovfefe

      HI THERE!

      OK, asshole, let’s take out race altogether. What was the justification for shooting into the goddam car? Why was the officer’s gun even out, for a goddam traffic stop? Have you been pulled over? If so, did the officer have his gun holstered or not?
      Fucking idiot should go back to posting angry memes on Faceplace.

      Oh, and BTW:
      “person of color”
      that right there says, “I am white and kinda racist”

      Fuck off.

    • JustDon’tSayCovfefe

      Oh, and I’ve just down-voted you. I’ve done that once before.

    • House0fTheBlueLights

      Go educate yourself about structural racism and implicit bias before making an idiot of yourself on the internets.

      • Pre-Existing Condition Jack

        He doesn’t know that “superpredator” ONLY applies to black men and that it’s basically police policy.

    • Pre-Existing Condition Jack
    • Predisenting Ron

      Thank you for your submission. We here at Wonkette appreciate the effort you have put into your comment, and have examined it with care and attention. Unfortunately, it does not meet our needs at the present moment.
      Please feel free to submit another comment when the mood strikes you, and in the interim, we suggest that you take the current comment and submit it to a more sympathetic forum. Might we suggest Beritbart, or Stormfront? The stories there suggest that you’ll fit right in.
      Thank you and goodbye.

      • KillerMartinis

        I have this beer at my house, you should come and drink it.

    • redarmyzombie
    • Wellstone En Resistencia, Coño

      No, that’s not it; nice try, though. The issue is cops thinking they can unload an entire fucking clip on a civilian without consequences and the system letting them get away with it. Cops are public servants. They’re not a paramilitary force and there are degrees of situational awareness that define the rules of engagement. Shooting unarmed civilians multiple times is unwarranted and fucking illegal. What we’re seeing here is that shit becoming the norm. That’s the problem we’re talking about.

    • PincheMacha

      “Is it racism when one “person of color” – whether a cop or not – kills another?” reeeeeal short answer: Can be.

  • ThirdAmendmentMan

    I want to make this clear to start: I’m not advocating violence in any way, shape, or form.

    But there’s only so much the black community can take before some portion of it will react violently. Make no mistake, the government is violently oppressing blacks and lynching them without legal consequence. And these are 100% lynchings. When justice can not be achieved through the justice system, people will go looking for it by other means. At what point does armed resistance to murder and oppression become fully justified?

    • KillerMartinis

      That ain’t advocating violence. That’s a clear-eyed assessment of what happens when you deny justice to a group of people for too long.

    • therblig

      unfortunately, that’s exactly what racist scumbags like my rwnj co-worker want. then, they can lock and load and kill with impunity, saying (and worse, actually thinking) that they’re trying to restore order.

    • NastyBossetti

      I don’t think you’re advocating violence. I think you’re saying what anyone with 2 brain cells to rub together is probably already thinking.

    • I agree. What possible incentive does the next family of the next lynching victim have to wait for the legal system to do its job? The legal system has proven over and over again that it has no interest in doing its job in these cases. Or it’s proven that it thinks its job is protecting the murderers instead of the victims.

      I don’t want to see violence, but at some point it’s the only alternative, right? People will fight for their lives, even if they don’t normally want to fight.

  • therblig

    we’ve got a case here in JC where 4 cops were involved in a high speed chase at night. against regulations (and all common sense except in movies) they fired at the moving vehicle, which then crashed and burst into flames (i guess the movies are occasionally right). the driver, who was the actual perpetrator, fled the scene, leaving his passenger to deal with being on fire all by himself. the cops helped – according to the video – by surrounding the flaming passenger and kicking him.

    the mayor called for their firing.

    the police union president called for the mayor to stop overreacting.

    fucked.up.

    http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2017/06/jersey_city_looks_to_fire_cops_who_kicked_burning.html

    • JustDon’tSayCovfefe

      Woof, that is fucked up.

  • Pre-Existing Condition Jack

    A damned good article on this at the Post. I am posting it in full for those who cannot see the paper. There is nothing to say but this.

    Yet another jury has affirmed an intolerable yet persistent reality
    of life in America: If a black man frightens you, you may kill him with
    impunity.

    The killer of Trayvon Martin, who was armed only with Skittles and iced tea, got off. The police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, who had no weapon, was not charged. The trial of the officer who shot unarmed Walter Scott in the back while he was slowly running away ended with a hung jury.

    And now there has been an exoneration in the case of Philando Castile, a 32-year-old cafeteria worker who was killed last year during a traffic stop
    in a Minneapolis suburb. The aftermath of Castile’s killing was
    streamed on Facebook Live by his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds. On
    Friday, a jury acquitted the officer who shot Castile of manslaughter
    and all other charges — rendering a judgment that the officer did
    nothing wrong.

    Black lives must be made to matter. They still do not.

    Castile,
    unlike other recent victims whose deaths made the headlines, was armed.
    When the officer pulled him over — in my view, part of a pattern of
    routine harassment of black and brown men in far too many communities — Castile announced immediately
    that he had a weapon and was licensed to carry it. Castile was no
    “thug.” He was just a regular working-class citizen — a “good guy with a
    gun.”

    But he was African American. The officer asked to see his
    identification; when he began to pull it out, the officer feared he was
    going for the gun. At least that’s what the officer testified, and the
    jury believed him. Castile was shot dead. Fortune saved Reynolds’s and
    Castile’s 4-year-old daughter, who was in the back seat, from injury.

    As I have written, as a practical matter the Second Amendment applies to
    whites only. Castile tried his best to obey the officer’s instructions.
    The Constitution gave Castile the right to keep and bear arms — but a
    Minnesota jury effectively nullified that right. For some reason, the
    National Rifle Association has not expressed its outrage.

    The officer absolved of Castile’s killing, Jeronimo Yanez, is Latino. But
    the incident would be an example of structural racism even if the
    officer were African American. Greater diversity in police departments
    is helpful, but the real problem is the assumption — by officers of any
    color — that black men can be shot first and questioned later.

    I have two adult sons and an infant grandson. “Black lives matter” is not
    just a slogan. It is an urgent demand that cannot cease until it is met.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2017/06/17/the-acquittal-in-philando-castiles-killing-makes-clear-that-black-lives-still-do-not-matter/?hpid=hp_no-name_opinion-card-f%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

    • Bemused Australian

      You guys need to do away with the handguns. I don’t know how else to put it.

      • Pre-Existing Condition Jack

        There is no other way to put it. I think we absolutely do need to do away with the handguns.

        There really is no reason to own a handgun unless you intend to shoot someone. Need to hunt? Use a rifle. Nobody actually hunts with a handgun. Home defense? Rifle, shotgun, baseball bat, whatever. Don’t. Need. A. Handgun.

        That is just my opinion and to be fair, I have seen a lot of gun violence in my day, so that’s a raw nerve with me. Cannot possibly be rational with that.

        • Bemused Australian

          Handguns are for killing people. They can be concealed in an urban environment. Why the fuck would you allow everyone access to them? That’s just fucking crazy.

          • Pre-Existing Condition Jack

            I have no idea why myself. I wish I could change it. It makes no logical sense to protect a thing that is only used to murder people with, but there it is.

            To me, it’s no different than saying anyone can possess a certain amount of weaponized sarin. That’s just crazy as well.

          • Bemused Australian

            Long arms in rural areas I can understand. Hell, I’d be loathe to live outside the city without a rifle kept around the house. But pistols? Nope.

          • Steve Cole

            I live on 10 acres, been here for decades. I have guns. Never once considered taking them out of the safe except to clean and practice. The terrain here is flat, any direction I might shoot might endanger a neighbor or their livestock.

          • Bemused Australian

            You might need a firearm for utility purposes, so it’s perfectly reasonable to keep one.

        • mancityRed6

          if…let me start over
          IF I needed a gun for protection at home, it would be a pump action shotgun. the sound it makes when you work the pump to put a live round into the receiver? everyone knows that sound and will act accordingly. the best part? it will make that sound even if there aren’t any shells to chamber.

          • Pre-Existing Condition Jack

            Seriously with you on this. I was on a psych ward with a guy who did b&e’s all the time. He liked to talk a lot about it. His deal was that he’d go at night and jiggle doorknobs, you know, test to see if they’re locked. If they weren’t locked, he’d go in UNLESS he heard that pump action. He said that sound was the scariest sound he’d ever heard. So you’re thinknig is very clear and I couldn’t agree with you more.

          • mancityRed6

            it doesn’t even have to be loaded with anything. they’ll never know, you just need that sound.

          • Pre-Existing Condition Jack

            Very true. Nobody in their right mind will test whether your shotgun is loaded or not.

          • nightmoth

            That is exactly what the crusty old instructor told my women-only, mostly lesbian, gun class back in the day. Said to keep the shotgun on a rack over the bed and the sound of it taking its round would scare any normal person out of the house. Also said that if you killed the not-normal intruder while he was coming through a door or window, then drag him all the way inside before you called the cops, so there’d be no lawyerly questions about the definition of “intruding.”

      • JustDon’tSayCovfefe

        You’re right. Can you please come over here, become a citizen, and vote? That’d be a big help!

        • Bemused Australian

          I’m not coming over there. You people are armed to the teeth and fucking scary.

          • JustDon’tSayCovfefe

            Only SOME of us are armed to the teeth. Others of us grill meat and brew beer.
            But fine. you stay down there with your single-payer health care and gloat. See if we take any more refugees!

          • Bemused Australian

            We have perfectly good tropical death camps for our refugees, thank you very much. You people are way behind the curve on that front. As for health care, it’s terrible, don’t come here or you will die because we don’t want any more Americans.

          • KillerMartinis

            he says, thinking that private pay in Aus is comparable. (no seriously I would reject all of us too, but also y’all keep thinking you don’t have it better.)

      • William Cook

        Yes, this is true, but please don’t make this about gun control. Even if they were prohibited for civilians, cops would still be using them on people of colour.

      • Red Bird Ω

        Or maybe just do away with white supremacy.

      • AyeDiosDrinko

        All guns

    • mancityRed6

      I said this on the open thread this…morning? I dunno, I took a nap. but if the cop had just made him get out of the car and gave him a patdown to get his ID and his gun, none of this would have happened.
      it was a bullshit stop and, just like anyone with a little power, they didn’t want to admit being wrong.

    • LadyLaz

      First excellent post. Second I am good with hand guns if everyone with guns had to go through rigorous vetting and gun safety training. You know, like those scary Syrians. After all, the idiot with the guns poses more danger to our innocents than the Syrians.

      • Pre-Existing Condition Jack

        I agree. With freedoms come responsibility. There is no other element of the bill of rights treated with such wrecklessness as the second. It’s now treated like freedom without personal constraint.

  • Latverian Diplomat

    The most powerful unions in the country are the ones for cops. It figures.

    • Bemused Australian

      The Teamsters have really gone downhill since that unfortunate Hoffa incident.

      • I worked in Central Booking at the County Sheriff’s and we were under the Teamsters.

    • mancityRed6

      it’s the only union Republicans don’t seem to mind.

  • THANK! YOU!
    👏

  • Jon Sussex

    Predictable result of a system that values a fearful person’s “right” to shoot innocent people more than innocent person’s right not to be shot by fearful people. The system needs to change.

  • I WAS going to add that one thing white folks should definitely not do is invoke “the race card” or “identity politics”, but of course Twitter already blew that one, on which I had to break my (METAPHORICAL) foot in someones (METAPHORICAL) ass, as seen here (trust me you’ll figure out who I am in you read down a little:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/Patriot_in_CA/status/875819626810056704

    • KillerMartinis

      We will never look to Twitter for reason.

  • Slow motion genocide.

    • Red Bird Ω

      That’s what I’m sensing too.

      • Also, all the murders in Chicago, Baltimore, etc. I’m sure they’re not trying too hard to make arrests.

  • William Cook

    That post script needs to be on billboards, got damn.

    Thank you.

    • KillerMartinis

      <3

  • Resistance Fighter Callyson

    “I’m here, mommy,” said the child too small to be a kindergartner, who had just watched her daddy killed by a police officer. And that’s not even the worst part.

    I guess America needs this again:

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/cbe09dd5267e7e463acc44107d528636b457f5bc7004c685d9aba46a51da3aae.jpg

  • Holly

    I have an adopted son. However, his mother thinks that’s simply hilarious because she never agreed to allow me to adopt him (neither did his father). I just tell everyone he’s my son because…well…because I want him to be my son. This young man is one of the finest people I have ever known. He’s one of the most outstanding young men you’d ever want to meet. I’m sure you know where I’m going with this. I’m white – he’s black. He was my son’s best friend. The two of them were inseparable. I loved him immediately and will love him for the rest of my life. Why do I write this you ask? His entire family and I worry about him every single day, and the fact we STILL live in a racist country. Go in peace. Go in love, my son.

  • Scrofula

    “When a civilian kills someone, they are arrested and taken to a police station to be interviewed.”
    Not in Florida, if you’re white! You’re immune from that shit, retroactively or something, I don’t know, their lege is all on bath salts or something.

  • Jenny

    I can’t even with this shit. And fuck the Texas legislature for passing a lame ass bill in “honor” of Sandra Bland that puts the blame on her mental illness instead of the mental illness of the police state.

    • KillerMartinis

      Thanks for pointing this out.

  • Steve Cole

    I not understand why this is such a hard sell. We all have to interact w/the police at some time, especially as teenagers. We all know they can be bullies. And we all know that the police attract some aggressive people who greatly enjoy their weight around. Why does all this collective experience evaporate in court? And seriously, being held to a high standard for deadly force hurts your morale? Then perhaps police work is not your parachute. I’m all for union, but some of this needs a good critical review. Great article.

    • Scrofula

      Yup. Police Union are all heroes supporting their brothers, while the Teacher’s Union all demand BMWs and drain gubmit coffers, the greedy rich bastards.
      Such a weird difference in views.
      Cities could save millions in civil suits if they got rid of the worst cops instead of firmly supporting them.
      That said, police have hard blue-collar jobs and absolutely need a union. So do teachers.

    • AyeDiosDrinko

      The laws are written to make it virtually impossible for them to be charged.

  • Scrofula

    I look at Officer Dredd in the photo up there comin’ at that uppity camera person, and think of cops in Europe, stopping cars while on foot and blowing a whistle.
    Somehow people actually stop and don’t run them over AND crime is low. Maybe cause the cops usually don’t have license to murder you (or at least no firearm), you’re more likely to comply?
    Just a thought.

    • Steve Cole

      Those images really send the wrong message. What happened to “Serve and Protect”?

      • KillerMartinis

        To be fair, this isn’t an image they publicized. It’s one I took. They weren’t pleased with it.

        • mancityRed6

          they were out in public, looking like that, they publicized it.

          • Scrofula

            Funny how that works. Don’t want to be video’d violating civil rights or murdering civilians? Maybe don’t do that then?

      • theCryptofishist

        Protect and Sever*

        *(like they’d only use blades.)

    • shivaskeeper

      Part of it I think is the police in Europe are less likely to kill you for no reason, but if they do have to use force, they use a lot of it. They start with a higher baseline if respect because of it.

      That was my experience with German police many years ago.

    • KillerMartinis

      I wasn’t being particularly uppity. I was just there, as a journalist, recording.

      • Scrofula

        I was being snarky, didn’t mean to suggest you were doing anything wrong while documenting reality.
        Anyway you *COULD* have hollered “I smell bacon on a cracker” at him, it doesn’t matter, cop’s wrong.

        • KillerMartinis

          I appreciated your snark! Just, I make sure this particular record is straight.

          • Scrofula

            Of course. Although, Jebus forbid Wonkette comments section winds up subpoenaed.

          • KillerMartinis

            LOL one would wish to assume that this was not a thing one needed to worry about. However, one would be entirely misguided in this assumption.

  • shivaskeeper

    Racism aside, since KM covered it well, another of the big issues, as I see it, is overly permissive rules of engagement. FFS, I have been in fucking urban combat and had a higher standard than, “I felt threatened” before using force, let alone lethal force. Mind you that was in a country where every person was allowed to own and carry an AK-47 if they wanted to.

    Even in the worst of the dystopian descriptions of American cities, they do not come close to actual fucking combat zones. One of easiest top down fixes is to no shit rewrite the rules of engagement and fucking enforce them.

    • KillerMartinis

      Dunno what branch but thanks for knowing ROE norms. It’s so wild to me that ROEs aren’t standardized for domestic situations, much less this relaxed. My husband lost a couple members of his unit to strict ROE.

      • shivaskeeper

        Sorry about your husband’s friends. It’s shitty.

        I lost friends as well due to strict ROE. I don’t begrudge the ROE or the people who wrote them, not do I begrudge the people who enforced it, especially since I was one of the ones damn sure enforcing it. They were strict for a reason.

        Why the ROE and escalation of force rules are so lax in this country for law enforcement is mind boggling to me.

        Army, BTW.

        • KillerMartinis

          That’s the thing: everyone hated it but accepted the need for the strict rules. Domestically? jesus.

          • shivaskeeper

            I understand. Truly I do.

    • Scrofula

      Wasn’t there a study that showed veterans who become cops are far less likely to go for their weapons? To the point other cops thought they were too lax to have as partners?
      Something about handling real threats made them less jumpy.

      • shivaskeeper

        I have no idea. It wouldn’t surprise me though. There is a world of difference in facing no shit life or death physical threats and, “I was scared so I pulled the trigger”.

        Not all vets are line that, of course.

      • KillerMartinis

        The study showed that veterans *in certain MOS* were less likely to go for their weapons. Which is to say: people who have been conditioned to go for their weapons first go for their weapons first. People who have been conditioned to take stock before going for weapons, take stock before going for weapons.

        • Scrofula

          MOS . . . situations prob. Uh, military. Military “O Shit!” Situations?

          • shivaskeeper

            MOS: Military Occupational Speciality.

            The job you do. Each career field has a number designation with a letter to subdivide it. 11series is Infantry, 11B is Infantryman, 11C is Mortarman, and so on. 12 is Engineers, 13 is Artillery, and so on.

            Individual designations have additional letter/number add-ons as well. An 11B3O is an infantryman who is a SSG/E6 with no additional skill identifiers like airborne, or sniper.

          • Scrofula

            Thanks. (that actually makes googling different occupations a lot easier now)
            As a former G3 seasonal mail opener with advanced degrees that are irrelevant, who do I outrank?

          • shivaskeeper

            Civilians technically outrank everyone in the military. The military falls under a civilian chain of command for very good reasons.

            But to me G3 is the training office/shop at a Division or higher level command. S3 would be the Brigade or Battalion equivalent shop.

        • shivaskeeper

          Would you happen to have a link to the study? I would like to read it. Or the name so I can look it up.

          • KillerMartinis

            Do you know, I can’t remember right off. I do as a rule recommend “on killing” by Lt. Grossman for a full overview.

          • shivaskeeper

            I read On Killing and On Combat years ago. Both are still on my bookshelves. I don’t agree with his conclusions regarding movies and video games, but a lot of the rest of it rings true. In fact those books helped me to understand the why behind the training and helped me to come up with better, more realistic training exercises.

            On Killing is where the mangled sheep, sheepdog, wolves bit comes from. People repeat that shit without understanding the actual quote, the context of the quote, or what the guy was actually saying. Much like the whole armed society is a polite society thing.

    • LadyLaz

      This. Excellent

  • disqus_lWwzrwNaw6

    Every comment that you have read or will read informing you that the commenter doesn’t own slaves and is descended from people who didn’t own slave and therefore it’s not his fault;

    every comment that you have read or will read that includes a phrase along the lines of “oh yeah? well, why aren’t you talking about Chicago? why aren’t they doing something about their own communities, huh?”;

    every comment you have read or will read that refers to the bogus crime statistics so popular among the raging, unsexed, loveless white boys of the alt right;

    every comment you have read or will read that suggests the commenter himself has been stopped by cops and has always been courteous and done as he was told, hence he has personally never been shot dead (it’s about RESPECT, libtards);

    every one of these comments, and all the others of which you have a long list of examples of your own, are why we can no longer pretend this is a great country, not to mention even a remotely good one.

    In a great country, these problems would have been resolved decades ago.

    Instead, just at the moment when our national conscience seemed to have been awakened by a ferociously awakened national press (there were no Chuck Todds in the trenches of civil rights coverage) and the US Congress had–a century after the end of our grotesque civil war–finally passed meaningful civil rights legislation, the people who run the Republican Party realized that if they capitalized on white rage and resentment, they could turn the Solid South into a Republican stronghold, and take our urban ethnic neighborhoods as well.

    So crap. So much for human dignity and decency.

    Meanwhile, in a remotely good country, people would be too ashamed to say those things, even anonymously, even online.

    We need to adjust to the real truth: that this is a godawful, even an evil country, and that that is why this man is dead. We need to adjust to the fact that to the extent that there are truly good people in this country–and of course there are– they need to step up their game and fight back harder against these things, knowing it will be painfully difficult, and sometimes even terribly dangerous because of the godawful evil, the downright poison, that has gripped so much of the American soul.

    • AyeDiosDrinko

      👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

    • redblack

      let’s not forget economic factors, like sending good blue collar jobs abroad, and then demonizing people who need public assistance because they can’t scrape liveable wages together. the old rich white men even go so far as to blame federal assistance programs and “entitlements” for larger economic woes (which are, in reality, caused by old rich white men.)

      then there’s the wage disparity thing…

  • Bozilingus

    The real problem? Not enough “Others” in government. Women, POC, LGBTQ, Youngsters, etc. Until people who represent the victims start representing “The People” will we ever see an arc towards justice.

    • redblack

      in other words, things won’t get better until the crackers start dying off.

      it will happen eventually, as our society becomes more diverse.

  • Vagenda and Pee-ara

    What about Steve Scalise, snowflakes…hngggh?

  • Red Bird Ω

    This was well written. I have nothing to add. Especially the last part.

    • nightmoth

      ^THIS^

  • LadyLaz

    Whole heartedly agree with the ps. My work crosses prisoners, often in a hostile situation. One said to me that I must think he’s just a liar because of prison. I said, “you might be surprised what I think.” A lot of them are bad dudes, but I also know that the road to “bad dude” is heavily influenced by the world around us. For some of us, the road naturally turns us to good. Some of us, the pressures are all bad. That is why everyone holds up people like Thomas or Dr. Carson…. because the odds were so against them.

  • Wookie Monster

    You have to wonder what kind of circumstances would lead a jury to actually hold a cop accountable for killing black man. Does he have to be unconscious and handcuffed to a radiator before our society decides that was going to far?

    • LadyLaz

      Pretty much.

    • Red Bird Ω

      If they shot a rich white man.

    • KillerMartinis

      Well, given that we’ve seen no convictions for people that were handcuffed to things, I’m going to go with “it would have to go further”

    • Cat Cafe for the Prosecution

      Oh, I can answer that! He has to be a black man who is not a cop, and the person he shot has to be a white right-wing Republican! This extends even to the opposite–credit for SAVING a life. For example, does a black FEMALE lesbian cop saving the life of a white right-wing Republican get any kind of positive mention? No, no she does not.

    • Carol Bird

      No, not even

  • LadyLaz

    I will add this one personal story…. okay two.

    One of my best friends in high school was the daughter of black doctor. Family smart as a whip. Okay so I obviously not racist. And – blessing – neither is my family. But she mentioned her dad would never work farther south than Virginia due to racism. And I was like “oh no, that’s all done.” She was furious with me and called me part of the problem. We stayed good friends, but it was the first crack to me. One of the big problems I think with white people like me is oblivousness. We aren’t, we don’t “see” it, and that equals “it doesn’t exist.” Twenty five years later, Diedre, you were RIGHT.

    ;).

    Second? Another dose of white people obliviousness. My cousin and his wife could not have children. She was a firm right winger, supported huckabee back in 04 (08?) can’t remember. But they adopted a baby girl from Nigeria and a son from Panama. And to watch her transform and turn against Huckabee and the rest after watching the crap dumped on her beautiful daughter and son. Even in a northern state. Yeah. She loves those children. That turned her into a vicious social justice warrior.

    So miscarriage to be sure, but had I been on that jury – or her – that cop would not have walked. Never. And I hope they pay tons of money in the civil rights suit sure to follow.

    And I hope BLM keeps screaming. Because I am sure it is busting down the doors of a few more oblivious types like me.

    • theCryptofishist

      I so fucking hope the tide is turning.

      • LadyLaz

        I do too. Who ever called slavery the original American sin was not lying. So much of our poison comes from it.

        • theCryptofishist

          And the theft of Indian land that went along with it, and continued afterwards.

          • LadyLaz

            Agreed. We did terrible shit to the NA

      • HogeyeGrex

        The arc of the moral universe may bend towards justice, but it makes a few loops along the way. The election of Trump, and the attempt at normalizing the awful that is part and parcel of that, are a pretty big detour on that road. I hope and expect that we can guide ourselves back in the long run. I don’t have high expectations for the near term.

    • AyeDiosDrinko

      White children of desegregation did an EXCELLENT job of brainwashing the next generations with “color blind” ideology.

    • Bebecca

      And like most Republicans, your cousin had to be smacked in the face with racism for it to be a real thing to her. It’s the only reason a republican ever changes their opinion, when it impacts someone they love.

      • Miss Dill

        Nancy Reagan.

        • Bebecca

          Dick Cheney. Rob Portman. It doesn’t happen often that they get a conscience.

      • LadyLaz

        I know but she changed enough to dump the party. I am glad of it. I am liberal and not racist and I too was oblivious. I caught on a bit faster than she did. Mid twenties. But I had the oblivious gene as well.

    • Miss Dill

      Hoo boy – yep on the obliviousness-ness. I grew up all over up in the North (starting with my birth in Alaska). I lived as an adult in Northern Virginia for 30 years, then moved/retired to Richmond.
      That was an eye-opener and somewhat of a shock in re: how SOME people down here and around just will not let “that war” go. So I was clueless about lots of parts of Virginia and would not live anywhere farther south…with apologies to all the nice people I know in the South…it’s just your state governments and some of your neighbors I object to.
      But there is lots of what I don’t like here in the South present in PA, MD, Midwest states and farther west so not singling any state out I guess. And I do love Richmond! It’s changing, growing and still keeping the best parts – lots to do and see here and the people for the most part are just plain nice and polite, and not in a creepy way. I could do a tourism promo for this area – lots of history, hiking, kayaking, restaurants, arts, shopping, museums, good schools/universities, etc…come and see us soon!

      • LadyLaz

        I grew up in very racist Front Royal and lovely Charlottesville. Richmond has changed so much in the last twenty years – it is amazing.

        Virginia is odd. It elected a black governor in the 1990s, Wilder. I was in high school at the time. It still has pockets, though. Consider shitgibbon Cooch. Vomit.

        I am stuck in Georgia right now, but Atlanta.

        • Miss Dill

          Good example – love Atlanta! Well, at least the Atlanta I saw during a few business trips decades ago. Bet it’s even better now.

  • theCryptofishist

    I am so done with racism. The utter waste of humans, not only killed, but living cramped narrow lives at the margin. That stupid fear of black males that I have, too. Sub-standard housing making the people who don’t have to live there rich. All those kids who wont get much of an education.
    etc.
    etc.
    etc.
    ad nauseum

  • Lyly Sirivong

    It’s disheartening. It seems nothing is changing despite Black Lives Matter, and all these stories are only confirming that cops in America can kill black people with impunity.

  • The whole point of jury systems is that you get verdicts which reflect broad social conceptions of justice. The jury system isn’t broken. Society’s (by which we mean the WHOLE of society, not cool people who don’t comment on Wonkette) conceptions of justice are broken, and racist AF.

    • unclejeems

      This.

  • Paperless Tiger

    He panicked and shot the scary black man. This is how racism can trigger violence even without malice intent. It’s sub-conscious. Many work to raise consciousness, but now we’ve slid into a sociopolitical regression, so racism is on the rise. The top provocateur is in the White House. It is a racist revolution.

  • Snopes Shop

    Who else is sick and tired of Bernie tweeting “the system is broken” over and over whenever this happens? He is the king of meaningless platitudes.

    • *raises hand*

      We know it’s broken, Bernie. We also know that old white men who insist that they’re the only solution to the brokenness are lying or self-deluded. STFU and sit down.

      • Snopes Shop

        He literally drags out the same tweet every time an atrocity like this happens, with no follow up. I know he probably actually does care, but it makes it seem as if his heart isn’t in it.

      • Carol Bird

        With no solutions, though.

    • KillerMartinis

      I have been holding this award for “meaningless non-sequiturs” and I bestow it upon you, the person who reads about brutality from police geared towards racial minorities, and makes it somehow about the primaries. Well done. You can collect your trophy at your leisure.

      • Snopes Shop

        The primaries? No, I was responding to the tweet he posted just now, which was regurgitated from the last time an african american man was killed by a police officer, and the one before that and the one before that. I don’t want your fucking award.

        • KillerMartinis

          One assumes that everyone affected by racism in policing appreciates your trenchant and entirely applicable critique.

          • Carol Bird

            does not compute

          • KillerMartinis

            It’s pretty simple: neither of the primary candidates in the DNC primary are in a position to fix the fact of systemic racism. So a critique of either candidate is a non-sequitur, and wholly fucking useless to the people affected by this verdict. But I do appreciate the intestinal fortitude it takes to read a story about police brutality and make it somehow about your feelings in the Dem primary. That’s guts, and nobody can take that away.

          • That’s a rather gross assumption on your part. Not sure who Snopes was rooting for in the primary, and I bet neither do you, but I do know it is wrong to make generalizations about people’s motives.

          • KillerMartinis

            Snopes was rooting for nobody, as Snopes is not a person with feelings and intent.

          • Yeah, like I said, gross assumptions. Good article, cheers.

          • Snopes Shop

            Sadly, I am a person with feelings, which is tremendously tough these days. I didn’t realize you had written this piece – it is great and I shared it many times. This part: “…if you still don’t know what racism looks like in America, it looks like a press conference in which grieving black faces have to do a press conference after the acquittal of the police officer who killed their family” made me cry.

          • KillerMartinis

            I legit missed your screen name and thought we were talking about the website, which I assumed had done some debunking, because this is 2017 and WHEEEEEEE.

            I think we can both agree on the following premise though (I am just going to assume you’re the anthropomorphized version of the website from now until forever) that peoples’ lives > anyone’s bullshit try at politicizing peoples’ lives and I will just say I love your screen name.

          • crisptickle

            snopes: the worst is that you are boring.

          • Moar Wordz

            I just looked at your profile pic, & major apology if I’m wrong, but you appear to be of caucasian descent. So the rage about racism in Amurrica, the tone of ” blacks are dying and You snopes dare to bring up Bernie’s CURRENT tweet” seems preciously politically correct.
            This board is where people discuss the issue from myriad angles. Take that away, and YA it’s death by squashing debate. In other words, 1984

          • Jerry Noneofyourbizz

            Wow!

      • Jerry Noneofyourbizz

        Um, what the hell? Where did you get that from? Snopes is talking about a Tweet sent out by Bernie in present time. Nothing was said about Clinton or the 2016 election.

        • KillerMartinis

          I’m sorry, I thought I was talking about racism in policing, didn’t realize that Bernie was involved in this police shooting. My bad.

          • Jerry Noneofyourbizz

            It was a response to a comment Bernie made about THIS police shooting. And how dare you speak to loyal Wonkette readers this way? Just who the hell do you think you are? This is the last article of yours I will ever click on. Piss off.

          • KillerMartinis

            I frankly have less than half a fuck to give about what ANY politician says about ANY police shooting if it’s not “we are summarily enforcing a federal rule that will automatically suspend any police officers who have killed a civilian until after there has been a full investigation and trial” and if you think talking points matter to the people whose lives are at risk for this bullshit, you might want to check your priorities.

      • desida

        I know this is a deeply unpopular opinion to have here, but I’m with you. I get so, so tired of the mandatory part where every time Bernie does anything to remind people that he continues to exist, a certain percentage of progressives have to flip out. Guys. Please stop. The Russians were going to make damn sure that Hillary never, ever became president no matter WHO else ran, for whichever side. We know this now. Just admit that nothing he’s said here or, really, anywhere else is actually worse than any other left-ish politician and that you’re really just mad that he didn’t drop dead (or, in nonviolent terms, disappear forever) the minute the election was called. I mean, damn.

        • KillerMartinis

          My position: if the world had shaken out differently, it would be different. In this reality I live in, people are dying and I can’t muster the energy to give a shit about failed candidates’ talking points when people are dying and nobody’s held to account.

          [ETA: I know that makes me a Bad Liberal/Progressive/Leftist because talking points UBER ALLES IN DER WELT]

          • desida

            The “just admit…” part isn’t for you, if that wasn’t clear. (I worry I’m not expressing myself very well today.)
            And yeah. This crap needs to change. Getting angry because people who don’t have the power to change it aren’t changing it is a waste of energy. Ugh, this fucking country.

      • LadyLaz

        Actually the point is dead on. Bleating over and over how bad it is, and then doing nothing, despite being a senator for 25 years, is one more example of the egregious obliviousness of many white politicians. Maybe it is time for Bernie to do something more. Start launching bill’s for criminal justice reform

        • KillerMartinis

          No seriously though I thought Bernie lost and wasn’t the leader of the party? Did I miss a major election? Because I thought we were talking about black people dying, not about white politicians’ opinions about things.

          • LadyLaz

            No seriously though, I thought Bernie was a senator who did a whole lot of talking about changing the Democratic Party and revolutionizing it after the election. Even went on a bunch of speaking engagements afterward. But you are totes right, we shouldn’t talk about yet another failure of white america to rise to the level of their progressive rhetoric.

            You know, you wrote a damn good article, yes. I applaud it, but this curating of the comments because we aren’t talking about exactly what you very specifically want us to exactly talk about? Yea, seriously making me not want to look at another thing you wrote.

            I get to have my own thoughts, my own opinions, and I’m not violating the terms of service.

          • KillerMartinis

            Have all of your thoughts, this is America! I am just trying to follow why I should give any fucks about anything anyone says on this issue that isn’t going to impact this issue. Which Bernie is not, God bless him and all his legions.

            More to the point, I am trying to figure out how anyone reads about people dying and refers back to a politician that lost in the primary a year ago almost.

          • LadyLaz

            Yup, let him and all the rest of those duly elected senators off the hook. Explains why he hasn’t done much of anything in the last twenty five years if no one has been holding his feet to the fire.

            Maybe you should do a little research on the function of our government, and then you will understand why, even in the minority, Bernie Sanders (and the other forty-nine shitgibbon senators) DO in fact have “power” to do something. Granted he might have to build a coalition, but before Der Trumpenstein was elected, we had bipartisan movement for the first time in forever on criminal justice reform.

            But talk is cheap, and if you don’t see how pressuring some of our proggy elected representatives might actually get movement, then what can I say? LBJ and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 differ.

          • KillerMartinis

            I admire your optimism and am jealous of your confidence in the system that has so far not stopped anyone from dying. May you be right and tomorrow we pass a law that makes killing people for being not white illegal in function as well as form. Until then, I will keep wondering how people look at these deaths and think it’s a good time to play Who Does Better Base Politics.

          • LadyLaz

            Now that it is morning and I not quite so turned off by your tone I will say that i am a student of history … five miles from my home a black family was lynched fifty years ago in the turmoil of the sixties. A sin for which no one was called to account. We have a thousand miles to go to shed our racism, but my child came home from second grade, with horror in her voice, and said “people used to own black people, that is wrong!” Between those events lay the civil rights act, passed by the Bernies of yesterday, a dozen federal judges willing to face death threats -yes-, the national guard, and the countless deaths of many protestors, white and black.

            I understand your dispair. But the only choice is to hammer forward through the mechanisms of law and public opinion and pray we leave the world better off with those behind us.

          • Well, the primaries have been over for some time, but I still see near-constant references to Bernie as the de facto leader of the one major political party that theoretically cares about things like police violence against minorities. (I tend to disagree that someone can be the leader of a party they refuse to join, but that’s clearly up for debate.) In a context where Bernie is not just a failed presidential candidate in the past, but also a sitting senator and supposed leader of a major political party (a party whose strongest base is people of color, even) it would be nice if he’d either do something other than complain about rigged systems, or hand over the megaphone to someone who will. Especially since he and his wing of the party have been so dismissive of “identity politics” for so long, apparently not understanding that the “identity politics” of not wanting to get shot for driving while black is actually pretty fucking important.

            If he were just the guy who lost the primary, I don’t think he’d be relevant to the conversation. But if he’s a leader of the one political party that gives any sort of fucks about civil rights, then yeah, his response is worth noticing.

          • KillerMartinis

            Perhaps my confusion is: did we not already know this about Bernie’s unfortunate ways of speaking about this? Are we going to be discussing fucking Bernie every time there’s a crisis or horrible thing? As I didn’t care who won the primary I’ve no dog in this fight, but for people who really wish the guy would go away I think Party members sure give him a lot of bandwidth and earned media.

            I still go with: the people in charge of the Party are probably registered Dems, regardless of what the press may want. I also think that talking about the problem of how Bernie talks about the problem is a handy (usually unintentional, and usually well-meaning!) way to avoid talking about the problem. Which is dead black people. I just can’t summon a single drop of give-a-shit about partisan scoring on this.

          • It’s valid for you not to care what Bernie has to say, or about what any of us thinks about what Bernie has to say. It’s also valid for us to make the connection between the careless dismissal of “identity politics” from what amounts to the Bernie wing of the party and the fact that people whose identities are not white continue to die in this manner, and talk about what the leader of that wing is doing, or not doing. It’s valid to look at any lawmaker’s reaction to this, since if we ever want it to change without some kind of violent uprising, we’ll need those lawmakers to fucking do something at some point. We can talk about those things and also be mournful, and outraged, and discuss other aspects of the problem too. Someone probably will want to discuss Bernie, or Trump, or some other politician next time something horrible happens, especially if they see a connection between the horrible thing and the politician’s behaviors. A lot of us are political junkies, our brains are wired for those connections. I don’t think that means that we don’t care or aren’t interested in discussing any other aspect of the horrible thing.

    • alistair sinclair

      YES

      • alistair sinclair

        I checked, it is actually the same tweet every time this horrendous situation arises.

    • Carol Bird

      Me

    • PincheMacha

      After reading this long conversation I feel compelled to chime in – as a POC who’s been pulled over and patted down countless times, who has scarred wrists from too-tight handcuffs, who’s spent time in jail maybe 5-6 times over minor shit I couldn’t pay my way out of – bringing up Bernie is NOT a “meaningless non-sequitur,” it’s NOT about the primaries. It’s a conversation that needs to happen. There is a feeling in “mainstream” (read, wht) politics that “identity politics” (what I’d call justice) is waste of time. And Bernie represents that in so many ways.

  • Daniel Hooper

    I agree that something needs to be done, though ultimately I think you’re preaching to the choir, and I’m not sure how much we can penetrate the racist filter with words alone. I think people who come to places like Wonkette are already pretty O.K with non-asshole people of all types(except for the hate readers and trolls), and in general they probably don’t hang out with racist assholes either. That means subjecting themselves to said racists and engaging them by trying to convince them of the exact opposite of their beliefs. Hell; I got an uncle who STILL thinks Obana’s coming for his guns any day now. Not that we shouldn’t try anything, but words are going to have a minor effect. Without resorting to violence, effects are going to be minor at best with just words.
    I’m wonder if maybe a financial motive for officers might be a better way to fight this. Set up a system where, if charges are filed(whether convicted or not), the entire department has to pay in the wrongful death of a civilian out of an officer’s salary. I don’t know; just spitballing here, but words aren’t going to be enough, and violence will just make it worse.

    • phoenix00

      Community Policing. Start there. Pull cops out of their cruisers/MRAPs, get them talking to people, contribute to their communities, build bridges and trust.

  • Ilgattomorte

    No jokes. Not a single joke. I’m just tired of this shit.

    I will share this one comparatively mild story with you. I was walking through the streets of Philly with my friend Shakur. Now Shak is a large black man. I’m sure that, to some people, the two of us together kind of looks like a large black man walking with a small pet Italian. The point is, he’s a big guy.

    Most days I wouldn’t have noticed, but on this particular day I realized as we walked along, people were crossing the street before they reached us of us. We came to a corner and I saw a white guy very noticeably lock his car door as we approached. We crossed the street as a police car drove by and I could see the cops slow down …a lot, to check us out. They appeared as if they were going to stop, but then just took off like a bat out of hell. I don’t know, maybe they got a call. It might have been my imagination, but, I swear I think I saw a lady pull her child closer to her as if there was some sort of impending danger.

    These were just the reactions I noticed on this one particular day, and Shak was with me. I’m not a complete milquetoast, but, trust me, I don’t appear to be particularly imposing or threatening in any way. I can only imagine the shit he has to deal with on a regular day-to-day basis.

    It sucks.

    • Gregory Brown

      It sucks dead rats.

    • LadyLaz

      Upvote for the small pet Italian. That made me smile.

      I am sorry about your rough day.

  • gkshenaut

    I suspect that the larger problem here is simply fear. Or a better word may be fearfulness. The cops are afraid. They drive around waiting for someone to shoot them, or to run at them from 20 feet away with a knife and to stab them to death. So there’s this whole fearful mindset that has become endemic among the police. (There’s plenty of fear elsewhere, of course, and other kinds of fear. But police fearing that they may be killed or injured at any moment is what’s relevant here.)

    In addition to that fear of being harmed, there is also plenty of race-based distrust of the “other”, and the result of this Fear + Race is the routinely horrible way members of racial minorities are treated, including being killed.

    But my point is, even if we could remove race from the equation completely, then if the fear remained, we’d still have a big problem. A corollary is that by reducing both police racism and police fear, we’d be able to make an even bigger reduction in the incidence of these gruesome tragedies than by restricting our efforts to either one alone.

    • Seems to me some training would be a help. We dress them as soldiers and give them soldier toys, but we don’t train them by half to handle tense situations.
      And then we pat them on the head when they fearfully kill citizens for having a not broken tail light.

      • gkshenaut

        Sure, training will help. But if the underlying Fear + Race factors are not addressed, there’s a real limit on how much. I think.

        • Down below folks were discussing how former military turned cop tend to stop and think before reaching for a weapon.
          Seems to me, as in most cases it would seem, education really is key.
          Racism and fear, also, would be helped by education.

          • phoenix00

            Two words: community policing. Get cops out of their cruisers and MRAPS, and actually pound pavement, say ‘hi’ to people, support local businesses and charities, etc etc.

        • Gregory Brown

          Training makes a huge difference. Much larger than you suppose. Check out the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.

        • Moar Wordz

          How can we address those two topics w/ Police ?

          • SqueakyRat

            Stop hiring morons and psychopaths as cops?

          • Moar Wordz

            Yanez seems both.
            Fired multiple times at an African -American reaching for HIS WALLET.
            From testimony, Yanez , ” Was terrified. ”
            Of WHAT ?!? The victim was polite & calm. Yet it shouldn’t matter if the murder victim was spewing expletives and pounding his fist into the car door. You don’t engage.
            Yanez, America’s “finest.”
            This reminds me of when a swat team went after a young immigrant for selling pot by throwing a stun grenade into a BABY’S crib.
            Baby Bou.
            Is there enough evidence yet that the police are murdering black men, women, & teen-agers in COLD BLOOD ?!?!?

    • Gregory Brown

      Much of the police training still going on in this country is still based on the “warrior” model. I leave you to figure out what kind of officer that training turns out. Police shootings have declined dramatically where the training has been based on the recommendations of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, an Obama initiative.

      • Wellstone En Resistencia, Coño

        Cops are Rambo-wannabe little cunts who couldn’t cut it in the military or were kicked out for being, well, Rambo-wannabe little cunts. I have no respect for the motherfuckers, never have, never will. They can go fuck themselves as far as I’m concerned. And I’m white.

        • Gregory Brown

          I’m white as the driven snow, but I have covered the police beat when I was a reporter and I’m here to tell you that blanket judgments like that are stupid. Training has a far greater effect on police behavior than you would believe.

          • Wellstone En Resistencia, Coño

            In principle blanket statements are stupid. I agree. Since you say you’ve been close to it, how true is that it’s just a few bad apples? If so, why the good cops stick with the bad apples? Why don’t they put country before force and call them out? Cops stick with each other and that, in my opinion, makes the good apples as bad as the bad ones. That’s why I don’t trust them.

          • Gregory Brown

            I say that in my experience it is a few bad apples, or “cowboys” as police of my acquaintance called them. On the other hand, the “thin blue line” us vs. them ethic remains a huge problem, whether encouraged by strong union representation or whether it causes strong union representation I don’t know. I do know that in cities where they change the whole training program from the “warrior” mode to that recommended in the “21st Century Policing” model compiled under an Obama initiative, that shootings decline precipitously. The old sports mantra that “you play like you practice” holds true in police training as well. Anyway, an Illinois trooper who’s a friend of mine is a reservist. She ran a medical unit in Kabul, Afghanistan, for 18 months. I know I’d trust her with my life.

    • phoenix00

      What you said, plus little/no emphasis on community policing, and a complete misinterpretation of the phrase “To serve and protect” – not just themselves and their fellow officers, but their community who trusts these officers with their lives.

    • Wellstone En Resistencia, Coño

      If you’re a scared little pussy you shouldn’t be a cop. It’s a job they can quit at any fucking time. Also too, if you’re a violent psychopath looking for an adrenaline rush you shouldn’t be cop either. This little shit should have never been a cop. He is a cunt and he pees his pants when he interacts with black people. He should have done virtually anything else for a living instead of playing cop.

      • H0mer0

        Okay,” I don’t get it”: is it the broken tail light which wasn’t broken or the wide set nose that you really couldn’t see from inside one’s own squad car? I agree that if your first instinct is to be afraid for your life when you confront a brown person, you may need to find another line of work. It’s also heartbreaking that the little girl had to act like an adult and reassure her mom while witnessing something so horrible.

  • Gimble

    I didn’t know one of the jurors described Diamond Reynold’s reaction as “overly calm” and now that I do I’m literally shaking with rage. I’d heard a few dumb ass conspiracy types saying things like that right after Mr. Castille was murdered. It is such a position of privilege to imagine that she had the luxury of “freaking out” available to her. That she could have behaved in a manner that *you* might and survive. Or that her child would survive! Damn right she de-escalated, documented, kept her fucking head focused – and without any of the formal training of the god-damned supposed professional “law enforcement officer”.

    As a black woman her entire life has been one long fucking training session in what to do in unimaginable circumstances!

    I am a white mother of three black sons and they’ve had “the talk” which is really a continuous series of talks that start in early childhood. “Don’t run”, “keep your hands out of your pockets”, how to speak to police officers, on and on and on… And for all of that, all that I KNOW, do you know what overrides that training for ME? The white privilege I’ve been conditioned for MY ENTIRE LIFE!

    And in the moment when my “white privilege card” was declined by an authority figure due to my proximity to the blackness of my sons did I fall in line and follow the advice I’d made so sure they’d taken to heart? NO! I kept swiping that card like it was a damned declined debit card and I KNEW I still had money in my account!

    The outrage, no sense making indignity of the situation completely overrode the part of my brain that had insisted that my boys politely cooperate, get through the situation without being hurt, and we’d work to right it later. And it damned near cost us all. Dearly.

    Ms. Reynolds deserves respect in that in her most vulnerable, terrified, horrified grief stricken moment she held her shit together by force of will. Self-restraint, strength and reliance on HER lifelong conditioning kicked in and she executed “the plan to survive” like a fucking boss. And anyone who thinks that doing that, in itself, doesn’t take a heavy, heavy additional emotional toll can go fuck themselves. That juror included.

    • KillerMartinis

      swear to God I could not muster half the composure nor logic that Ms. Reynolds did in a situation 10% as fraught, and neither could anybody I know that isn’t in a position where they’ve unfortunately been raised to know how to handle that, which nobody should be as it should never be called for.

    • LadyLaz

      The truly shitty part is that they both did what people are always lecturing people to do. “Well if he just hadn’t run from the cops or stayed calm or followed directions or…. he wouldn’t have been shot!” Yeah no, he’d still been shot, because you know, he was “too calm.”

      • Roadstergal

        It’s no-win. If she had freaked out, she would have been a threateningly emotional black woman. “She should have remained calm.” And no, there is no happy medium between the two. It’s always ‘her being wrong’ and ‘her fault’. Just as him being shot was, somehow, ‘his fault’. NO. IT WAS THE FAULT OF THE GUY WHO FUCKING MURDERED HIM.

    • Wellstone En Resistencia, Coño

      All I have to say is that Ms. Reynolds is a courageous woman. The cop is a cunt.

  • Keith Taylor

    No jokes, I agree. This absolutely is too hideous and grave. And yet, I can’t help it, the first thing that crosses my mind when I see the photograph of that St. Louis cop is that Judge Dredd used to be an over-the-top and even satirical comic strip. Now it’s real life.
    And that’s no joke.

  • SeeTrain65

    I’ll restrain my outrage to say only this:

    I’m restraining my outrage a lot today.

    • phoenix00

      All I can say is that I look at the US of A with an even more disappointed glance as of today.

  • BillEGoatSmirk

    That thug sheriff from Milwaukee, David Clarke, withdrew his nomination for an Assistant Secretary position at Homeland Security. He had 4 people die in his jail just last year and, among other sickening things he has said about people of Milwaukee, blames BLM for cop killings. At least there will be one less Trump sycophant going to DC who believes that only police lives matter. Now if only the good folks of Milwaukee could send him packing into obscurity…

  • Sally Mushrush

    Thanks km. Us white people need to own the responsibility and admit to the white privilege we have. Then things might get better.

  • Marceline

    For white people I say, keep his name in mind and the next time someone you know says “all lives matter” remind them that we now have definitive proof that’s not true.

  • VirginiaLady

    It’s a shame that to get rid of humans the entire planet has to become hostile to most life. Worth it in the long run, but damn we are a tough and nasty infection to stop.
    Think I’ll go watch my hummingbirds and beg their forgiveness.

    • Wellstone En Resistencia, Coño

      There may be a period when the planet will end up devoid of macroscopic species but chances are there’s still going to be life in some form, hopefully.

      • VirginiaLady

        It’s the exact opposite of snowball earth, but the bacteris found in underwater thermal vents and hot springs would do nicely. Them, some sheltered cockroaches, and maybe sea bears could do it. Mold, lichens, and some tough grasses would be nice, but that’s asking an awful lot. We don’t know the kind of toxic soup they will be dealing with.
        I hope whatever evolves will be pretty like our flowers and make nice music like our birds and small frogs.

  • Slave patrols help to maintain the economic order and to assist the wealthy landowners to punish the descendants of slaves.
    http://countercurrentnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/slave-patrol-.jpg

    • mfp

      youknow…i could swear you just paraphrased the second amendment…those ‘well-regulated something-something necessary, something-something free state’

  • redblack

    this is a well-written and thoughtful piece, KM. it has provoked some great commentary among the wonketariat.

    anyone who agrees should clicky the recommendy. i’d love to see this go a little viral and encourage discussion with a broader audience. media coverage and dialog about the trial are sadly lacking at a time when this country needs to get its collective shit together.

Previous articleYour Weekly Top Ten Is In Gay Love With Kamala Harris And Martin Heinrich
Next articlePizzagate Idiots Yell At Shakespeare For Murdering Donald Trump And Steve Scalise