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Protests Erupt In The Wake Of Police Shootings In Oklahoma And North Carolina

Police Pistol

Protests erupted overnight in Charlotte, North Carolina in the wake of the fatal shooting of an African-American man that came only days after a similar incident in Oklahoma:

About a dozen police officers in Charlotte, N.C., were injured when a standoff between law enforcement and demonstrators turned ugly overnight after an officer fatally shot a black man on Tuesday afternoon.

Protesters clashed with police officers in riot gear and blocked a stretch of Interstate 85. Video from local television early Wednesday showed some demonstrators looting trucks that had been stopped on the highway and setting fire to the cargo.

Several people were taken to the hospital with minor injuries, and at least five others were arrested, according to the CNN affiliate WSOC-TV.

The protest began in the University City neighborhood in northeast Charlotte, near the campus of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. WSOC-TV reported that looters later moved off the highway and tried to break into a Walmart before officers arrived in force to keep them out, and at least one family driving on Interstate 85 reported that their windshield had been shattered by demonstrators throwing rocks.

Mayor Jennifer Roberts urged calm in a series of Twitter messages and promised a thorough investigation into the shooting death of Keith L. Scott, 43.

“The community deserves answers and full investigation will ensue,” Ms. Roberts said. “Will be reaching out to community leaders to work together.”

The shooting occurred just before 4 p.m. on Tuesday as officers were trying to serve an arrest warrant for another person in an apartment complex.

Police officials said the officer opened fire because Mr. Scott, who they said was armed with a gun, “posed an imminent deadly threat.”

The shooting occurred just before 4 p.m. on Tuesday as officers were trying to serve an arrest warrant for another person in an apartment complex.

Police officials said the officer opened fire because Mr. Scott, who they said was armed with a gun, “posed an imminent deadly threat.”

Although their accounts sometimes diverged, members of Mr. Scott’s family generally told local news outlets that he had not had a weapon. Instead, they said, he had been clutching a book while waiting to pick up a child after school.

The shooting revived scrutiny of a police department that drew national attention about three years ago when a white officer was quickly charged with voluntary manslaughter after he killed Jonathan Ferrell, an unarmed black man.

In Charlotte, dozens of chanting demonstrators, some of them holding signs, began gathering near the site of the shooting on Tuesday evening. Around 10 p.m., the Police Department said on Twitter that it had sent its civil emergency unit to the scene “to safely remove our officers.”

“Demonstrators surrounded our officers who were attempting to leave scene,” the department said. It identified the officer who fired his weapon as Brentley Vinson, an employee since July 2014. Officer Vinson is black, according to local reports.

According to the department, officers saw Mr. Scott leave a vehicle with a weapon soon after they arrived at the apartment complex.

“Officers observed the subject get back into the vehicle, at which time they began to approach the subject,” the department said in its first statement about the shooting. “The subject got back out of the vehicle armed with a firearm and posed an imminent deadly threat to the officers, who subsequently fired their weapon, striking the subject.”

A police spokesman did not respond to an after-hours inquiry about whether a dashboard or body camera had recorded the shooting. The police chief, Kerr Putney, acknowledged at a news conference that Mr. Scott had not been the subject of the outstanding warrant.

On Facebook, a woman who identified herself as Mr. Scott’s daughter said that the police had fired without provocation.

“The police just shot my daddy four times for being black,” the woman said moments into a Facebook Live broadcast that lasted about an hour. Later in the broadcast, she learned that her father had died and speculated that the police were planting evidence. (The police said that investigators had recovered a weapon.)

The Charlotte incident occurred just a few days after an incident in Tulsa, Oklahoma in which an African-American male who, according to all of the available video evidence, was unarmed was shot and killed by a police officer who has been put on administrative leave pending an investigation:

The family of Terence Crutcher, an unarmed black man whose fatal confrontation with the Tulsa, Okla., police was recorded on video, said Tuesday that Mr. Crutcher had posed no threat and that his hands were in the air when he was shot.

“We watch the video and it’s clear to see that Terence did not have a weapon in his hand,” a lawyer for the family, Damario Solomon-Simmons, said at a news conference Tuesday. “It’s clear to see that Terence was not being belligerent. ”

The shooting, the family and its lawyers said, was a clear case of excessive force.

Mr. Crutcher, 40, was killed Friday evening on a Tulsa street by an officer identified as Betty Jo Shelby, a five-year veteran of the city’s Police Department. Officer Shelby, who is white, was responding to reports of a tan S.U.V. abandoned in the middle of the road — its motor running, the driver’s door open and the driver nowhere in sight.

The family’s news conference came as the Tulsa police promised a thorough investigation and as a lawyer for Officer Shelby, Scott Wood, defended her actions. The case is the latest in a series of deaths across the country at the hands of the police that have raised questions about officers’ use of force, particularly against African-American men.

Mr. Wood said Mr. Crutcher had behaved erratically and refused to comply with police commands. He said that Mr. Crutcher had been reaching through the vehicle’s window when he was shot, and that Officer Shelby believed he had a weapon.

“She is extremely distraught over what has happened,” Mr. Wood said. “She has never used deadly force in her nine-year career. She is a pretty seasoned officer and has worked in a lot of different areas. She is viewed by everyone as someone who is really squared away.”

The family’s lawyers, who include Benjamin L. Crump, who represented the relatives of Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager who was killed in 2014 by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo., challenged Mr. Wood’s account. Mr. Crump displayed photos at the news conference showing that the window of the S.U.V. had been rolled up.

On Tuesday, the Tulsa police declined to comment on whether Mr. Crutcher had been reaching inside the car.

“This investigation is ongoing, and the U.S. attorney and the district attorney has requested no additional information be released,” a police spokesman, Officer Leland Ashley, said.

Protesters gathered in Tulsa on Monday and Tuesday, calling for an unbiased investigation. At a prayer vigil Tuesday afternoon, a pastor, Jeremiah Hale, called for prayers for the family.

Adrian Colbert, who is African-American, said the shooting occurred near his house, and he referred to the riots in the 1920s, in which white residents killed up to an estimated 300 African-Americans in the city.

“He had his hands up, and they popped him,” Mr. Colbert said. “But that’s something we’re used to. It goes back to 1921. What happens here usually gets swept under the rug.”

The Tulsa police have opened a criminal investigation into the shooting, and the Justice Department has started a civil rights inquiry.

A police video of the shooting from a department helicopter shows Mr. Crutcher slowly walking away from Officer Shelby and toward his vehicle.

Moments after Mr. Crutcher is seen reaching the driver’s side of the vehicle, one officer fired a Taser and Officer Shelby fired a single round, killing Mr. Crutcher.

Videos from the police helicopter and dashboard cameras did not capture the shooting itself. The helicopter video appears to show that at least one of Mr. Crutcher’s hands was raised when he was shot.

The police said Officer Shelby did not have any disciplinary actions against her that resulted in a suspension or loss of pay since she joined the department in 2011. Before that, she worked for the Tulsa County sheriff’s office. Deputy Justin Green, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office, said she joined the department in June 2007 and was a member of the agency’s dive team.

Mr. Wood, the officer’s lawyer, said that when Officer Shelby arrived at the scene Friday, she found Mr. Crutcher walking nearby. He did not respond to her questions, Mr. Wood said, but instead “locks his eyes on her,” which the officer described as “a thousand-yard stare.”

Mr. Wood said Officer Shelby was “a drug recognition expert,” who had received specialized training in 2014. Officer Shelby, the lawyer said, believed Mr. Crutcher was “under the influence of something.”

When Mr. Crutcher ignored the officer’s order to get on his knees, she drew her gun, the lawyer said. But Mr. Crutcher continued to keep his hands in the air. He was shot about 30 seconds after other officers arrived.

On Tuesday, referring to reports that Mr. Crutcher had been using drugs, David Riggs, one of the Crutcher family’s lawyers, said: “We do not know if that’s true or not. We are looking into that.”

He added: “Let’s assume that it was. You have to ask yourself again, what is the proper way to handle a situation where someone is acting in a strange way and perhaps not entirely in control of his emotions or his mental state at that time? This is a textbook case of how not to treat someone in that condition.”

In both of these case, there are still many facts that need to be deduced before we can reach a conclusion regarding whether or not the police actions in either were appropriate or lawful, of course, but already we can see these cases falling into an all to familiar pattern that makes the reaction of the communities in Tulsa and Charlotte understandable even as we can all agree that there is no excuse for the property damage and dangers reflected in the protests. This is especially true of the protests in Charlotte where more than a dozen officers were apparently injured as a result of debris or other materials that was being thrown at them by protesters throughout the night. No matter what your cause, there is no justification for violence and destruction of property. Additionally, as the video of the Oklahoma incident in particular reveals, we don’t know for sure what was happening on the ground because we don’t have access to either body cameras or dashboard cameras that would give us a ground level view of what was happening. Leaving all of that to the said, though, it does seem as though both of these cases fall into the same ‘shoot first, ask questions later’ pattern that seems to be all too common among American police, especially when it comes to dealing with African-American males. In the Oklahoma case, for example, while it does seem as though Crutcher may have been under the influence of something there doesn’t seem from the video shot from the helicopter to have been any effort to try to take any of the common efforts used to deal with emotionally disturbed people, which police are supposed to be trained in so that shooting of otherwise innocent people can be avoided.

Additionally, as I have said before, it’s worth noting that the specific facts of these cases are only tangentially related to the protests themselves, and to the Black Lives Matter movement that grew out of incidents such as the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, The motivations for these protests go beyond one incident and reflect the widespread belief among African-Americans that they are more likely to be the target of police violence than other individuals. As I’ve noted before, there is truth in this perception especially as it concerns young African-American males. The fact that these perceptions and this reality exists is something that goes beyond a single incident and which most people outside of minority communities don’t seem to take seriously, which is the main reason that the protest movement exists at this point. On the political right, for example, there seems to be more concern for police officers than there is for the quite often innocent civilians who are targeted or the fact that African-American males are more likely to be the target of questionable uses of police force than any other demographic group in the country. This is why the BLM movement exists, and it’s likely to stay around until the country becomes more serious about addressing a serious problem that has the potential to create rifts between police and the communities they serve that will become impossible to repair.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. C. Clavin says:

    It’s still too early to know about the NC shooting, but the OK shooting seems like a pretty clear-cut example of “shoot the black guy first, and figure how to get the white cops off after”.
    I’m sure Jenos will be along soon to explain how the guy was a thug and deserved to be summarily executed without the cumbersome efforts required for due process.

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  2. Mu says:

    I never realized that I was subject to summary execution for walking into Home Depot being oblivious to the world while trying out how to get five 5×1 pieces our of an 8×4 sheet. Or walking down the street listening to a pod cast on Bluetooth earplugs. Or concentrating hard because I really need a bathroom. Or any other reason a “drug recognition expert” might identify as the capital offense of disrespect of cop.

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  3. Stonetools says:

    We need to disarm all police until we figure out what the h3ll is happening.
    Only half joking about that.

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  4. Hal_10000 says:

    The Oklahoma shooting looked to me like a cop panicked. Not sure why they had their guns drawn in that situation.

    The NC shooting may remain opaque. The legislature passed a law a few weeks ago making all cop cam footage secret (T. Greg Doucette has been ranting about this on Twitter for some time). Funny that.

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  5. CSK says:

    About the shooting of Terence Crutcher in Oklahoma: It was my understanding that he had been Tasered before being shot. Wasn’t that enough to render him helpless? And I can’t see any indication from the helicopter video that he was reaching for anything, much less a weapon.

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  6. C. Clavin says:

    @Hal_10000:
    @CSK:
    Yeah…they had already tasered the guy..not sure why she decided she needed to kill him, too.
    Being a cop is not easy. Still…this seems egregious.
    No doubt they will get off scot-free, though.

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  7. Andrew says:

    South Park, the episode from years ago. Where the “They’re are coming right for us!” when they were hunting…seems to be the motto for a lot of police. Shoot first, make Sh!t up while doing it. Get a nice paid vacation while the smoke clears.

    There is a problem, and this is not acceptable behavior. A terrorist in one part of the country who ACTUALLY shot at police, gets taken away. And a unarmed man gets taken out for no other reason than he was at the wrong place at the wrong time. Too much variance. Police need to be held more accountable. They do not have carte blanche, the badge and uniform do not give this magical power. Maybe free coffee, a lunch. Not murder.

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  8. gVOR08 says:

    @Andrew: Barring major surprises, in the OK case, and unless in the NC case the cops come up with a gun and credible evidence it didn’t come out of a cops back pocket, “murder” is the correct word.

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  9. Andrew says:

    @gVOR08:

    Even if no such gun shows up. What sort of disciplinary actions will really take place?

    I could be wrong (and I sure hope I am), but it seems only a fraction of police who do not represent what is expected of a public servant seem to actually have to answer for their actions. I get police, fire fighters, paramedics put their lives on the line every. single. day. That does not mean they can be above the law, or justify using deadly force just because. I respect those that take their jobs seriously. I can not respect the level of expectation just because the person wears a badge. Respect is earned. And no one should have to fear a someone in a uniform and worry about if a powerful sneeze means a bullet in the head. All because the officer “felt threatened”.

    The more people try to fight the injustice, the more the law cracks down on it. And this is something everyone should have a problem with.

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  10. Jack says:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The standard beat cop only knows how to escalate a situation and has no training on de-escalation. Cops are taught “they must control the situation” immediately, so when someone for some reason or another does not immediately and with severe reverence to the badge comply with not only the letter but the intent or even the unspoken thoughts of the officer’s commands–the officer escalates to gain compliance.

    What needs to be taught at the academy and to those already in service is pain is not a compliance tool. Batons, OC spray, Tazers, and guns should only be used in self defense. A drunk driver that doesn’t get out of the car should not be beaten because he is unable to make his brain operate his extremities in compliance with those commands. Hell, a drunk driver that simply doesn’t want to get out of a non moving vehicle posing zero hazard to officers or the general public should not be beaten or tazed either.

    Until the men in blue understand this, any action they take that harms another will and should be looked at under a high powered microscope to determine if their actions were necessary.

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  11. Andrew says:

    @Andrew:

    The way things are headed, it seems that Judge Dredd is just around the corner. Checks and Balances?!
    Pfft, totally 18th Century drivel.

    Bring back mob justice, The Pinktertons from late 19th Century/Early 20th, and do away with our Miranda Rights. That’s the ticket!

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  12. cian says:

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=e1f_1474426709

    This one too. Can’t understand why they couldn’t hold off and talk the guy down. Yes he had a knife but they were 15 feet from him and he posed no immediate threat. These days it seems that what should be the last option is now the first.

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  13. Jack says:

    Man suffering medical emergency beaten by cops in OK.

    http://thefreethoughtproject.com/oklahoma-cops-beat-man-medical-emergency/

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  14. Gustopher says:

    In both of these case, there are still many facts that need to be deduced before we can reach a conclusion regarding whether or not the police actions in either were appropriate or lawful, of course, but already we can see these cases falling into an all to familiar pattern that makes the reaction of the communities in Tulsa and Charlotte understandable even as we can all agree that there is no excuse for the property damage and dangers reflected in the protests. This is especially true of the protests in Charlotte where more than a dozen officers were apparently injured as a result of debris or other materials that was being thrown at them by protesters throughout the night. No matter what your cause, there is no justification for violence and destruction of property

    I’m sorry, but I cannot agree that there is no excuse for the property damage and dangers reflected in the protests.

    There’s a national crisis of police violence, and no one is doing anything about it.

    In a perfect world, quietly writing letters to the editor would be enough to change things. Or incredibly well organized, peaceful marches against police violence. But, we don’t live in a perfect world, that hasn’t changed anything, and society didn’t even notice any of that — up until the Ferguson riots, police shootings were local news, and the pattern of violence wasn’t even acknowledged.

    To paraphrase Ta Nehesi Coates, nonviolence is being preached as a way of preaching compliance. Sit down, shut up, and take it.

    I’m sorry that a CVS might get burnt to the ground, or a number of rocks will get thrown, but if want protests to be nonviolent, we have to treat nonviolent protests seriously. We don’t do that.

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  15. Gustopher says:

    To be clear, I would rather live in a world where nonviolent protest actually could be effective in addressing a nation wide crisis of police violence.

    But, sitting here in my upper middle class neighborhood, safely ensconced in my white skin, I don’t think I can condemn mild violence from people who are much more likely to be killed by police for no reason, when nonviolent protest doesn’t work.

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  16. Loviatar says:

    @Gustopher:

    To paraphrase Ta Nehesi Coates, nonviolence is being preached as a way of preaching compliance. Sit down, shut up, and take it.

    But even if you protest non-violently you’re still attacked. See the vitriol, anger and now death threats directed at Colin Kaepernick.

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  17. Gustopher says:

    @Jack: Completely agree.

    We are teaching our cops wrong, and we are doing a great disservice not only to the communities that get the brunt of police violence, but the cops themselves. They are, generally*, people who want to give back to their communities, but we aren’t giving them the right tools.

    (*generally, but some of them are probably the type of people who we wouldn’t want in authority over anything because they will never diffuse anything)

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  18. C. Clavin says:

    @Andrew:

    Bring back mob justice, The Pinktertons from late 19th Century/Early 20th, and do away with our Miranda Rights. That’s the REPUBLICAN ticket!

    Fixed that for you.

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  19. Tillman says:

    Probably a good time to point out the Fraternal Order of Police endorsed Trump on the same day as the Oklahoma shooting.

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  20. Tillman says:

    @Gustopher:

    To be clear, I would rather live in a world where nonviolent protest actually could be effective in addressing a nation wide crisis of police violence.

    BLM is nonviolent, and it keeps the issue in the spotlight even when the news isn’t endeavoring to help them. What we have here lamented by Doug as violence and destruction of property by protestors is nothing compared to the “long hot summer” of ’67 when you couldn’t walk two miles without hitting a riot. The framing used by people to denounce modern protestors as unruly is incorrect and ahistorical.

    The nonviolent protest of BLM, and the inevitable reactions from people like ourselves ensconced in middle-class white safety, has captured the attention of politicians, writers, artists, and lately athletes. I wouldn’t say it’s an ineffective tactic.

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  21. James Pearce says:

    This is why the BLM movement exists, and it’s likely to stay around until the country becomes more serious about addressing a serious problem

    No question these kinds of shootings have become a serious problem, but the events of the last few months demonstrate we as a society are not even close to being prepared to dealing with them seriously.

    And yes, the authoritarian right is awful on this issue. But wow, so is the progressive left.

    I just watched the chief of police in Charlotte, a black man, explain why his officers shot Keith Scott. You can disagree with those reasons or question them. But this whole “They shot my daddy cuz he was black” stuff? C’mon…

    In Tulsa, I think it’s pretty clear from the video that the officer shot Terence Crutcher because he was ignoring their orders and attempting to flee. We could discuss whether or not it’s a good idea to allow cops to kill people for insubordination, but we’re too busy arguing the racial aspect.

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  22. James Pearce says:

    @Tillman:

    I wouldn’t say it’s an ineffective tactic.

    I suppose it would depend on the goal.

    Do we want to be discussed on today’s news broadcast? Do we want the issue to be parsed on blogs and Tweet storms?

    Or do we want to reduce the number of people who are killed by police in sketchy circumstances?

    If we’re committed to the latter, then we would be better off heeding Chief David Brown’s advice of “get off that protest line and put an application in.” Sitting down during the National Anthem or having a really cool coordinated dance routine on the VMAs or looting the Wal-Mart isn’t going to do anything socially useful.

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  23. Gustopher says:

    @Tillman: BLM is trying to pull the protests towards non-violence — and, as a comfortable, white, property owner, I strongly prefer that.

    At the same time, I honestly don’t think they would be as effective without a little bit of the threat of violence.

    (And, of course, a few people will believe that BLM is a violent uprising and that some football player taking a knee during the national anthem is as dangerous as setting fire to a drug store, which is as dangerous as race riots on every corner. But those people are crazy people.)

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  24. Neil Hudelson says:

    @James Pearce:

    We could discuss whether or not it’s a good idea to allow cops to kill people for insubordination, but we’re too busy arguing the racial aspect.

    I don’t think you understand why the racial aspect comes up. Or maybe you do and are being obtuse. The anger comes from this unequal treatment. Terence Crutcher was murdered because it appeared he might be attempting to flee. Philando Castile was shot because he informed police he had a gun in an open carry state. Time and again white people in the same situation are dealth with differently–white men threatening officers are talked down, bean bags are shot instead of bullets, etc. Nearly 1/4th of deaths from police shootings have been black men (off the top of my head I believe its around 180 out of 720), a rate that in no way matches any sort of violent crime rate.

    You keep getting mad that people bring up the racial aspect rather than being mad that there is a racial aspect to these killings.

    And then you pretend that its the progressive left that is being silly.

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  25. Gromitt Gunn says:

    I am fully at the point where the only way I will take the word on any LEO about anything is if there is very obviously undoctored raw video evidence that confirms their statements. And even then, my bullsh*t detector will be on high alert.

    I would be a criminal prosecutor’s worst nightmare. I am a middle aged overweight highly educated middle class white guy with a professional license, so at first glance I look like I would be their best friend on the jury. But I am also a gay man that came of age during the AIDS crisis, and I have a lot of friends and loved ones who are racial and ethnic minorities, and so I know full well how cops and prosecutors collude to oppress the “wrong” people, and I would subject their entire case to the strictest scrutiny.

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  26. SKI says:

    @James Pearce:

    We could discuss whether or not it’s a good idea to allow cops to kill people for insubordination, but we’re too busy arguing the racial aspect.

    No, this is not subject for discussion. It is murder. Period.

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  27. Rafer Janders says:

    In both of these case, there are still many facts that need to be deduced before we can reach a conclusion regarding whether or not the police actions in either were appropriate or lawful,

    Really? What facts would those be?

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  28. Gustopher says:

    @James Pearce: If the problem is a matter of training — police being trained to control a situation by dominance, rather than defusing the situation — what good would putting an application in do?

    I do think that BLM isn’t doing anything to effectively fix the problem, but they are putting the problem on the national stage, where others can — hopefully — actually effectively start fixing it. Which isn’t happening, yet.

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  29. Loviatar says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    Racist come in many forms; someone can be an overt racist and/or a willful blindness racist. While the willful blindness racist are a little harder to identify, in most cases they’re just as bad and maybe worse that the overt racists.

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  30. Rafer Janders says:

    No matter what your cause, there is no justification for violence and destruction of property

    Yes, you should protest peacefully and non-violently, perhaps by oh, say, not standing up for the national anthe…wait, what’s that you say? That’s no good either?

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  31. Jack says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    You keep getting mad that people bring up the racial aspect rather than being mad that there is a racial aspect to these killings.

    No. The media keeps bringing it up. The shootings of white men by cops gets little or no coverage. After a quick search….

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/07/14/police-release-body-camera-video-showing-shooting-of-unarmed-whi/

    http://wonkette.com/605837/north-carolina-cop-had-perfectly-good-reason-for-shooting-deaf-man-dead-after-traffic-stop-we-bet

    Did either of these make to the mainstream news? The death of white males by the police does not generate sufficient outrage. Just like the black on black murders in Chicago.

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  32. michael reynolds says:

    American cops are trigger-happy because the American people are armed. You don’t have to make a shoot-don’t-shoot decision in a split second unless the potential bad guy is armed, or you fear he is armed. That’s why no one in the developed world has cops killing civilians like we do.

    What is the justification for every shooting? “I thought he had a gun.” It’s never, “I thought he had a pizza.” It’s the guns, stupid.

    Now, on top of that racism and on top of that a media-driven passivity about police misconduct. But the original sin, the underlying problem, is that we have a country neck-deep in guns, and cops are justifiably scared and overreact. So long as the gun cult insists on arming criminals, cops will be scared, and cops will shoot first and ask questions later.

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  33. CSK says:

    @Gromitt Gunn:

    I see your point, but in the case of Keith Scott, he was shot by an African American officer, and his chief, who is, so far, standing behind the officer, is also African American. So if this shooting was unjustified, was this a racist act, or a an act that resulted from poor training?

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  34. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Jack:

    Did either of these make to the mainstream news?

    You just linked to a prominent newspaper, and a prominent online media source. So yes, and thank you for providing the evidence. Seriously, you even let me know it only took a quick search.

    In case you didn’t notice the numbers I posted, this is not about media perceptions. The police kill black men at a rate that far outpaces any sort of crime statistic. No anecdotes needed.

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  35. Tillman says:

    @James Pearce:

    Do we want to be discussed on today’s news broadcast? Do we want the issue to be parsed on blogs and Tweet storms?

    Or do we want to reduce the number of people who are killed by police in sketchy circumstances?

    This is a false choice. These aren’t two mutually-exclusive goals. One leads to the other.

    If we’re committed to the latter, then we would be better off heeding Chief David Brown’s advice of “get off that protest line and put an application in.”

    Which would be great advice if equally-qualified black people got the same jobs as white people on average, or were judged by similar standards in conduct and decorum. They don’t and they aren’t. It’s not all racism, but it is all entangled with racism.

    @Gustopher:

    At the same time, I honestly don’t think they would be as effective without a little bit of the threat of violence.

    I believe this is the wrong way to look at it. A lot of people draw this conclusion about nonviolent protest or civil disobedience, but the trigger for it working isn’t the threat of violence if it fails. Rather, the conversation that ensues is the trigger: the moral and political evaluation of a situation a majority had assumed to be fine and which has proven not. King talked about this in the Letter from Birmingham Jail:

    Actually, we who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.

    If we’re claiming to be a nation of laws, especially the 14th amendment’s guarantee of equal protection under the law, there are vanishingly few arguments that can be made to subject certain kinds of people to stricter scrutiny or harsher penalties. Civil disobedience relies on civility as its weapon, not violence.

    (And, of course, a few people will believe that BLM is a violent uprising and that some football player taking a knee during the national anthem is as dangerous as setting fire to a drug store, which is as dangerous as race riots on every corner. But those people are crazy people.)

    No, they’re disturbingly normal. That’s the problem. Trump wouldn’t have the margin he does if these people could be considered crazy.

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  36. Loviatar says:

    @michael reynolds:

    But the original sin, the underlying problem, is that we have a country neck-deep in guns

    NO. HELL NO.

    The original sin is racism, otherwise every race/ethnic group would be jailed/brutalized/killed in proportion to their size of the population. And their not. If you’re an black or brown in this country you’re more likely to end up in jail or dead for the same crimes committed by a white person. And in seems like in more and more cases for no crimes committed.

    Guns add a degree of uncertainty and fear, but believe me if guns were out of the equation we would still have brown and blacks jailed/brutalized and killed out of proportion to their size of the population.

    There is a reason why the saying goes; He/She got arrested for Driving while Black, Walking while Black, etc

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  37. Jack says:

    @michael reynolds:

    American cops are trigger-happy because the American people are armed.

    BULLSHIT! Our military routinely operates under Rules of Engagement that requires them to be shot at before returning fire in countries President Obama has armed to the teeth–without background checks I might add.

    The problem is training. Cops have a “shoot first, shoot second, shoot again until the magazine is empty and then reload and fire some more until I stop pissing my pants due to all the gunfire” mentality. All because they are told that their life is more important than the general public. They have stopped protecting and serving in order to gain compliance–for officer safety, while tripling the petty tickets and summonses upon the populace they serve in order to continue to pay for states diving deeper and deeper into debt.

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  38. michael reynolds says:

    “I thought he had a gun.”

    If I’m ever shot and killed by a cop it will be because, “I thought he had a gun.”

    If anyone in this thread is ever shot by a cop, it will be because, “I thought he had a gun.”

    If any of our children are ever shot by a cop, it will be because, “I thought he had a gun.”

    Gun owners endanger every single person in this country. They are a menace. Owning a gun is an anti-social act that endangers innocent lives. That’s not an opinion, it’s a fact. Your gun = my risk.

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  39. Jack says:

    @Loviatar:

    The original sin is racism, otherwise every race/ethnic group would be jailed/brutalized/killed in proportion to their size of the population. And their [sic] not.

    More nonsense. You are suggesting that all races commit all crimes at the same rate, frequency, and degree. My bet is there are a lot more white moonshiners and poachers than there are orientals, blacks, and hispanics committing the same crime. Which means your entire argument is bat guano.

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  40. gVOR08 says:

    @Loviatar: Wish I’d kept an article I saw many years ago. Looking at history, the authors claimed non-violent protest was the most effective tactic for change. John K. Galbraith had a line that the only successful revolutions have amounted to kicking in a rotted door. Violent protest sacrifices the moral high ground that protest needs to succeed. Unfortunately, non-violent protest requires a high degree of organization, discipline, charismatic leadership, and patience.

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  41. Jack says:

    @michael reynolds:

    “I thought he had a gun.”

    Yeah, because no cop ever said that after a bad shoot because he knew the magic words would allow him to murder someone without going to jail.

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  42. James Pearce says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    I don’t think you understand why the racial aspect comes up. Or maybe you do and are being obtuse.

    Well, it might just be a different perspective as opposed to obtuseness…

    Time and again white people in the same situation are dealth with differently

    I’m not so sure that’s actually true. Based on sensationalized media reports, it certainly appears that way. But having delved into the actual data, it shows that the police are actually very equal opportunity when it comes to killing people.

    The police killed twice as many white people last year as they did black people (almost all of them men) and while that’s troubling in the sense that black people only make up 14% of the population but almost half of the police shootings, that fact alone does not actually support the idea that these police shootings are racially motivated.

    3 out of the 6 cops accused of killing Freddie Gray were black.

    The cop who killed Keith Scott in Charlotte, sparking the violent protests, was black.

    How many press conferences have we seen these last few months that feature a black chief of police? I was not shocked at all to find that the chief of Charlotte was a black man. It seems pretty common these days for a major city to have a black police chief.

    There is something else going on here besides racism. It behooves us to find out what that is.

    And then you pretend that its the progressive left that is being silly.

    I’m not pretending anything. I am trying to explain and understand what’s going on, and I find the progressive left “white privilege!” argument to be unsupported, and thereby unpersuasive.

    @SKI:

    It is murder. Period.

    That’s not how it works. That’s not how any of this works.

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  43. gVOR08 says:

    @Loviatar: Were there fewer guns there might be the same rate of jailed/brutalized, but likely fewer shot dead by cops, who seem to see a gun in every black hand, although gun ownership is less common for blacks.

    But to amplify your point that racism is the original sin, the 2nd Amendment was to a great extent driven by Patrick Henry’s concern about the future of the Southern state slave patrols under the Federal government.

    @Jack: The numbers might change, the disparity not. Example, do you believe Black people commit driving while Black at a higher rate than Caucasians commit driving while white?

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  44. Jack says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    You just linked to a prominent newspaper, and a prominent online media source. So yes, and thank you for providing the evidence. Seriously, you even let me know it only took a quick search.

    When I use sources you don’t like you criticize my sources and say my premise is wrong, when I use acceptable sources you laud my sources and just say my premise is wrong.

    The fact remains that neither of these cases made national headlines or had any of the news coverage that any of the recent black murders received. Thus, your premise that “police kill black because racism” ignores similar circumstances with white people.

    “Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong.”

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  45. MarkedMan says:

    We have developed a culture where a police chief or mayor can say, “The most important thing is the safety of our officers” and not get challenged. We have literally reached a place where an officer feels it is their right to kill someone if they feel threatened. This is stand-your-ground writ large.

    People from child protective services, firemen, ambulance drivers, to name a few, go into the same neighborhoods amidst high tensions. But if they were to start shooting every time they felt threatened they would end up in jail. Why do we hold cops to such a lesser standard?

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  46. Jack says:

    @gVOR08:

    Example, do you believe Black people commit driving while Black at a higher rate than Caucasians commit driving while white?

    No. I don’t. It’s simply not called driving while white.

    What I call it is stopping someone without probable cause or reasonable suspicion that a crime has been, is, or is about to be committed. It happens all the time to white people in order to question, search, or harass.

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  47. Jack says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Why do we hold cops to such a lesser standard?

    Preach!

    Blue lives are no more special than any other.

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  48. Rafer Janders says:

    @MarkedMan:

    We have developed a culture where a police chief or mayor can say, “The most important thing is the safety of our officers” and not get challenged.

    Exactly. The most important thing is the safety of the people. If cops don’t ever want to be in danger, there’s a simple solution — quit to become a florist, and let braver people take the job.

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  49. Jack says:

    @MarkedMan: We have literally reached a place where an officer feels it is their right to kill someone if they feel threatened slightly uncomfortable.

    FTFY

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  50. Matt says:

    @michael reynolds: Dude you’re as bad as Jenos when it comes to your pet hatred of guns. Instead of blaming the cops you blame the excuse they use. It’s stupid. Cops around the world in countries with far fewer guns then the USA engage in the same thuggish and worse behavior everyday. Yet in your world it’s only the guns to blame not the actual training methods used or the kind of people being hired (ex military with PTSD etc). Hell even here in the USA when guns clearly aren’t around cops still engage in thuggish abusive behavior. The problem is multifaceted and includes things like training that teaches police to FORCE others to respect their authority. The mentality of those in uniform and the “thin blue line” also encourages this kind of behaviour. It’s funny how conservatives complain about unions making it harder to fire people but they don’t care when a police union keeps bad cops from being fired.

    Apparently the cops in Tulsa are now claiming they found PCP in the SUV although they admit there was none in the victim’s system. I’m surprised they didn’t just drop a gun in there too for the perfect frame…

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  51. Tyrell says:

    Peaceful protest – ok.
    Rock throwing, burning property, vandalism, assaulting people, looting, interfering with interstate commerce, and threatening others: not okay, and illegal.

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  52. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @CSK: How does it matter? The cops on the scene would have lied to cover it up no matter why it happened, and the cops in the precinct would have backed them up on their lies no matter why it happened.

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  53. Andrew says:

    It is very, very rarely the officer’s fault. No matter if it really is.

    Though if it was the other way around. Such as an undercover, plain clothes officer, or off duty officer is shot, wounded or killed trying to interject themselves in a situation.
    The suspect is tried as a murderer even though they had no idea who the person was. No matter how STUPID the officer was in said situation.
    No wonder the police in OK backed Trump. Neither want to take responsibility for stupidity, and use their power to step over laws.

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  54. Tyrell says:

    @gVOR08: Do not follow or watch the main line news media. What they are putting out is carefully planned and scripted in order to control people’s actions and opinions. Gone are the days of reporting the facts and objective professionalism. CNN should be ashamed of how sensationalized they have become. They need to apologize to Turner.
    Here are some reliable sources: local tv news, radio, Newsweek, Reuters, USA, PBS.

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  55. Gavrilo says:

    @Matt:

    Apparently the cops in Tulsa are now claiming they found PCP in the SUV although they admit there was none in the victim’s system.

    Where did you see that? I didn’t know they released the toxicology report.

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  56. C. Clavin says:

    @Tyrell:
    F*ck that.
    Innocent black men are being murdered in cold blood by cops.
    In yuuuggge numbers.

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  57. bookdragon says:

    @michael reynolds: This is not because of people owning guns though. It’s because police are allowed to get away with shoot-on-sight by using that excuse, even in places where open carry is perfectly legal. The outrage is coming from the fact that whites can largely carry without the reaction being OMG HE HAS A GUN! SHOOT HIM!!!!

    I keep wondering why no one is asking if people aren’t allowed to have guns in NC. I thought it was a mostly red state…

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  58. Matt says:

    @Gavrilo: Having some free time I went looking and I can confirm that toxicology report has not been released. The writer of the article I read was committing some unfounded speculation about the results.

    It could take a few weeks for the full results. Should be interesting. I would be surprised if they don’t find some PCP in his system as the family has stated now that he had issues with it in the past.

    I’ve seen people use PCP and they behaved nothing like the media stereotype of the superhuman rage monsters of the 90s. Now in large doses and mixed with other drugs you can get such results I doubt he was anywhere near that point.

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  59. michael reynolds says:

    @Matt:

    Your arguments are completely divorced from reality.

    Cops around the world in countries with far fewer guns then the USA engage in the same thuggish and worse behavior everyday.

    Simply untrue. Our rates of killings by cop are way, way higher than absolutely every developed nation. There’s not even a comparison. In England and Wales there were 55 police killings in 24 years. Vs. 59 US killings in just the first 24 days of 2015.

    So why would you say something so easily falsified? Is it because you’re stupid?

    Nah, you’re not stupid. But you are brainwashed. You’re trapped in your gun-loving paradigm and you can’t see outside the box of your own emotional needs. You deliberately distort reality to rationalize your personal prejudices. I mean, come on, dude, unless you’ve been living in a cave you know US cops are way more deadly than Brits or Germans or Frenchmen. So why would you say something you must know is false?

    Hell even here in the USA when guns clearly aren’t around cops still engage in thuggish abusive behavior.

    Also not true, but even if true, irrelevant. We are discussing killings not unpleasant highway patrolmen. They kill because they are afraid of the guns held by citizens.

    Guns create fear. Fear shortens reaction times. Shorter reaction time = more bad shoots. No guns, no scared cops, no shootings.

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  60. michael reynolds says:

    @bookdragon:

    It’s because police are allowed to get away with shoot-on-sight by using that excuse,

    An excuse? Have you ever walked up on a car pulled over by the side of the road at 2 AM? Ask yourself: if you know for a fact that they have a gun, are you not afraid? Are you not much less afraid if you know for a fact that they are unarmed?

    It is self-evident that guns scare cops. They aren’t imbeciles. Of course they’re scared. Anyone would be scared. They want to live, as people do, you know? They want to get home to their kids. So they walk up on that car with a hand on their piece, they see a sudden movement, a shadow, something that looks like a gun and because if it is a gun they will have no time, they shoot.

    Honest to God, people, you’re now denying basic human nature because you don’t like the conclusion. Facts first, then conclusion. It’s not “Well, I love guns, therefore they must be fine.”

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  61. Mister Bluster says:

    @Andrew:..Bring back mob justice,

    Why not?
    It worked so well in the Show-Me state 35 years ago when the honkies executed the town bully!
    What the hell we got to lose?
    To the Killer of Her Least Favorite Son, Skidmore, Mo. Says a Long, Silent Thank-You
    http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20080203,00.html
    3 decades on, who killed Skidmore town bully still secret
    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/crime/article24591469.html

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  62. James Pearce says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Innocent black men are being murdered in cold blood by cops.

    Due to the level of interest this subject has received over the last couple of years, people (third parties mostly) have been keeping track of how many people are killed by police.

    Here’s one from The Guardian:

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/ng-interactive/2015/jun/01/the-counted-police-killings-us-database

    They count 790 people killed by police in the US. 387 of them were white. 194 of them were black.

    Here’s another source:

    http://www.killedbypolice.net/

    They count 842 people killed by police. The data is not searchable by race, but it links to news stories so you can actually get some context on each incident. A quick look at the “G/R” column (gender/race) shows a lot of white males are getting gunned down by cops.

    And finally, the Washington Post has been keeping track:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/national/police-shootings-2016/

    They count 706 people killed by police. 324 were white, 173 were black.

    Now I point this out because with actual data instead of high profile stories playing out in the news cycle, it’s crystal clear that getting shot by police is not a problem unique or exclusive to black men.

    The police will kill you quick, regardless of your skin color. That’s the problem. Why do we need to make it a black/white thing? “Stop killing us” should be universal.

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  63. Rafer Janders says:

    @James Pearce:

    Now I point this out because with actual data instead of high profile stories playing out in the news cycle, it’s crystal clear that getting shot by police is not a problem unique or exclusive to black men.

    Well, except looking at your numbers, it’s rather plain that blacks are, in fact, getting shot at twice the rate you would expect given their percentage of the population. They’re only about 14% of the US population, so if

    They count 790 people killed by police in the US. 387 of them were white. 194 of them were black.

    we should expect the number of African-Americans to hover around 110, not 194.

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  64. Matt says:

    @michael reynolds: Well I didn’t restrict my statement to “certain European countries”. You do realize that there are whole other continents out there right?

    I don’t have time to destroy the rest of your bullshit but maybe after work.

    Especially this gem of stupidity.

    Guns create fear. Fear shortens reaction times. Shorter reaction time = more bad shoots. No guns, no scared cops, no shootings.

    Guns are one excuse used but they also use excuses involving knives/batons/etc. If all the guns vanished cops would still be shooting people claiming they feared for their life. Because there is no real incentive for cops to not shoot. They know they won’t be charged for anything because their union and fellow officers will pressure the prosecutor and judges that get involved. “oh you’re going to be charging our officer? I guess we’ll just not show up for work or to save you”. Which actually happened not long ago when deputies refused to go to work at a court after a judge had ruled against one of their fellow officers. I’ll look for the article when I get back.

    That’s why even when an officer is caught on video executing a man on his knees the officer is still not charged. See the subway shooting a while back when an officer made the ridiculous claim he thought he had a taser in his hand and not the gun
    (they don’t weight or feel anything alike).

    Meanwhile in the European countries you mentioned there are strong laws to bring cops who kill to justice. If you are a cop and you shoot someone you WILL be questioned and you WILL have to justify the killing with something better than “I feared for my life”. In the USA all the cop has to say is “I feared for my life” and they are allowed to basically anything including kill.

    Being the gun nut you are you cannot let the chance go by to blame an inanimate object for the behavior of people who are supposed to server and protect.

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  65. Matt says:

    Canada is “awash with guns” yet somehow still manages to have far fewer people being killed by cops..

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  66. Lit3Bolt says:

    @Matt:

    Um, American cops think people have these inanimate objects, which makes them trigger-happy. Is that logical conclusion really that hard?

    I mean, I know you think guns are blameless, holy objects, but c’mon man. The NRA has become a symbol of white power, and gun owners are rightly being looked on as paranoid loons with delusions of grandeur. Gun manufactures and sellers are like cigarette companies, promising guaranteed protection for an inanimate object which just increases your risk of suicide, murder of a family member, and death by cop. Having a chance to be Clint Eastwood is almost nil.

    Gun ownership is just a white man’s Fantasia at this point. Have fun cosplaying Mad Max in your mom’s basement.

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  67. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @James Pearce: you are more than smart enough to understand that you need to convert a count into a rate when comparing populations of disparate sizes.

    So why aren’t you?

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  68. James Pearce says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    we should expect the number of African-Americans to hover around 110, not 194.

    I dunno. Why should we expect the rate of police shootings to be directly proportional to population demographics anyway? If only 14% of police shooting victims were black men, would that be acceptable? Do police need to kill more white people to make things “fair?”

    I mean, the data clearly shows black men are getting shot at a higher rate, but it doesn’t actually explain why. Should we just assume racism, having no better explanation?

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  69. Monala says:

    @James Pearce: It’s hard to say what orders he was given, since there is no audio. But “attempting to flee”? He was walking very slowly away from them, toward his car. How is that attempting to flee?

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  70. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @michael reynolds: The problem with your argument is that as an old white guy (64 in July) the likelyhood that I will be shot at all is microscopic–even if I have a gun–compared to that of a person of color. During the Ferguson discussion on these threads, it was noted that a black man between the ages of 16 and 43 (IIRC) was 23 times more likely to be killed in an encounter with the police than a white man of the same age group.

    It’s not the guns, it’s the people using them.

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  71. Monala says:

    @michael reynolds: I only partially agree with you. We do see recorded incidents of armed, aggressive white people being arrested rather than killed by police. So it’s not just guns.

    But it does call into question the NRA’s saying that an armed society is a polite society. If that were the case, why would cops be afraid?

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  72. Monala says:

    @Jack: Jack, I totally agree.

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  73. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Matt:

    It’s funny how conservatives complain about unions making it harder to fire people but they don’t care when a police union keeps bad cops from being fired.

    Yeah, but they seem to care moer when the union asks for a raise. I guess it’s a matter of priorities.

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  74. James Pearce says:

    @Gromitt Gunn:

    So why aren’t you?

    I did.

    Speaking of converting a count into a rate, in the top 10 states with the most per capita police shootings (at least according to the Guardian) 153 people have been killed by police. Of those, 21 of them were black men.

    So I mean, if we’re asking ourselves whether black men are being killed at a higher rate than white men, the answer is “No, they are not.”

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  75. James Pearce says:

    @Monala:

    He was walking very slowly away from them, toward his car. How is that attempting to flee?

    Okay, so when police have guns drawn and are attempting to arrest you and you’re “walking very slowly away from them, toward (your) car,” you’re attempting to flee.

    And, look, I don’t think a man should be killed for attempting to flee. But let’s be honest with ourselves. That dude was trying to split.

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  76. Moderate Mom says:

    @Rafer Janders: Black males also commit crime in numbers disproportionate to their population percentage. They are also victims disproportionately, and are usually victims of other black males.

    http://blogs.channel4.com/factcheck/factcheck-black-americans-commit-crime/19439

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  77. Monala says:

    @James Pearce: Again, we don’t have audio. They said he wasn’t obeying orders. Can we verify what orders they gave? (And at this point, I’m skeptical of police self-reporting). Because a guy walking slowly to his car looks to me like someone obeying the order of “Turn around and walk slowly back to your car [to get ID or registration or whatever].”

    Think about it. If you’re trying to get away from someone, walking slowly with them right behind you… makes no sense. He’s not running, ducking, or anything that people do when they’re actually fleeing. The only time walking slowly = fleeing is if you’re in hiding and trying not to make noise.

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  78. Grewgills says:

    @James Pearce:
    You, in our last go round on this topic admitted every particular of what the actual privilege argument is, yet still you viscerally dislike the term and so argue against it.
    You admit that the statistics point to disproportionate effect of police violence on black men beyond anything that can be explained away by demographics or crime statistics. You have yet to come up with any reason for this beyond systemic racism, yet you keep arguing that systemic racism isn’t a convincing argument. If it is so unconvincing, then you should be able to come up with a more convincing alternative.
    You are an intelligent guy, but you seem to have a mile wide blind spot on these issues.

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  79. KM says:

    @James Pearce:

    Okay, so when police have guns drawn and are attempting to arrest you and you’re “walking very slowly away from them, toward (your) car,” you’re attempting to flee.

    Being arrested for what, exactly? His car was broken down and they were supposed to be helping him, not carting him off to jail. As far as I know, they weren’t trying to arrest him but get him to comply with “orders”. Other then the vague “he was acting like he was on PCP” (which seems to stem from the “failure to follow orders” bit more then any behaviors demonstrated on video), what possible excuse could they have to arrest him?

    This whole thing reeks of Officer CYA. So far we’ve had “on drugs”, “failure to obey”, “trying to flee” and “reaching for possible weapon”. The officer just needs “afraid for my life” to get a Bingo on the cliche board. Since she didn’t have her body cam running deliberately, it’s her own damn fault we don’t know what orders she gave. The burden of proof should be on her to demonstrate what she said and her testimony should not be worth more then any other criminals. The cam being off should at the very least be seen as malfeasance, not a mistake.

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  80. barbintheboonies says:

    Cops have become increasingly worse over the years. The days of the beat cop walking among us and engaging in conversation are gone. I understand their fears, but their lack of restraint when dealing with people needs to stop. Some I`ve encountered have a chip the size of a boulder on their shoulder, just looking for a fight. That said. We can not act barbaric and attack police officers for what those other idiot cops did. We do need to start prosecuting these officers even if they are found guilty of manslaughter instead of murder. I believe the families need this to say their lives did matter.

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  81. Tyrell says:

    News now in Charlotte: rioting breaks out again. Rocks, bottles, damages, injuries, cars being smashed, people in masks, shootings, people screaming at reporters. Animals ! Looks like complete anarchy. Looks like outside radicals and insurgents have moved in, as is usual in these situations.
    The mayor and police chief need to gets the governor to send in the National Guard, more police, and a complete curfew.
    There needs to stiff penalties for people who commit crimes of arson, vandalism, throwing bombs, throwing rocks. Outsiders need to be kept out.

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  82. Lit3Bolt says:

    @James Pearce:

    FFS. Are you Charles Murray? Are you Andrew Sullivan? Are you John Derbyshire, and going to blame things on drugs and hippity hop?

    You are strangely, bizarrely, unusually resistant to any claim of possible racism. If you don’t think it exists, the burden of proof is on you to show how it isn’t. Instead there’s just this wishy-washy, “Oh I don’t think there’s any possible racial motive here” with zero follow-up.

    I know you’re not ignorant, so why are you acting like a total maroon about race? The cop murders are just one small part of the police burden on black America. Shall we talk about incarceration rates, or are you going trot out some “well, some white people are in jail too” BS?

    No wonder Lovitar goes after you. You’re just trolling at this point.

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  83. James Pearce says:

    @Monala:

    They said he wasn’t obeying orders.

    I think it’s reasonable to believe he wasn’t obeying orders based on what eventually occurred and what I saw on the video, even without audio.

    I do not think it’s reasonable to believe that he should have been shot for disobeying or trying to flee. Let’s just make that clear.

    @Grewgills:

    You admit that the statistics point to disproportionate effect of police violence on black men beyond anything that can be explained away by demographics or crime statistics.

    Absolutely. But I’m also making the point that “disproportionate” is not the correct lens to view the issue of police killing people, and let’s just say for the sake of argument that includes all people.

    The NBA is 74% black. The NFL is 67% black. Demographic maps of American cities don’t look like random dots; they take on shapes. Every neighborhood is an enclave. That’s how we achieve our diversity. Almost nothing about our culture is “proportionate” nor should it be. (Political representation excepted.)

    I don’t want to waste any energy being enraged that police shootings are “disproportionate.” I’m mad that they occur at all.

    @KM:

    Being arrested for what, exactly?

    To be bluntly honest, for scaring the shit out of some jumpy cops. I don’t say that as a justification, because this is the very reason the shooting wasn’t justified.

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  84. James Pearce says:

    @Lit3Bolt:

    If you don’t think it exists, the burden of proof is on you to show how it isn’t.

    I don’t think I’ve denied the existence of racism. Ever.

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  85. Monala says:

    @James Pearce: I don’t find it reasonable to assume he was disobeying orders because he got shot. We’ve seen black men obeying orders and still get shot (Philando Castle, the behavioral counselor trying to calm his autistic client, the guy at the South Carolina gas station reaching for his wallet).

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  86. michael reynolds says:

    @Matt:

    Well I didn’t restrict my statement to “certain European countries”. You do realize that there are whole other continents out there right?

    Right, so your point of comparison is what, Congo? Somalia? Syria? I mean, come on, don’t waste both our time advancing stupid points.

    Guns are one excuse used but they also use excuses involving knives/batons/etc. If all the guns vanished cops would still be shooting people claiming they feared for their life.

    Right. Which is why cop shootings are no more common here than anywhere else. Oh, wait: they are more common here. HUNDREDS OF TIMES more common here.

    That’s why cops wear body armor, right? Because they fear batons? When they walk up on a car at night they’re worried a guy is going to pull a baton on them? See, here’s the thing, the thing you know perfectly well but have to deny: guns are far, far more effective at killing humans than a knife or a baton. That’s why you love them: because they’re really good for killing. That’s why we don’t arm the Marines with batons. That’s why we don’t ship batons to our allies. That’s why we did not just sell billions of dollars’ worth of fwcking batons to Israel.

    Duuuuuuh.

    Guns force the officer to make a decision RIGHT NOW. No time. Right now. Knives don’t do that, neither do batons, as again, you know perfectly well. You advance arguments you KNOW to be easily-refutable. You say things you KNOW are false. Because once you’re in the Church of Scientology. . . excuse me, I mean the NRA Gun Cult, you have to be very careful about what you say. You literally cannot be in the same room with the truth. You have no choice but to believe lies.

    Unfortunately for you, I don’t live in your bubble, so your pitiful rationalizations are like a flatlander trying to trick 3-D man.

    Dude, when you make transparently stupid, easily-refutable points to support your case, it’s really time to reconsider your position. Because you simply cannot support the pro-gun position without lying or offering up howlers. Don’t take it personally: no one can. Because the pro-gun position is fwcking stupid.

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  87. dennis says:

    Two things:

    1) Deadly force is justified when there is imminent threat of death or serious bodily harm to the officer or another person;

    2) There was a time that the brutal treatment of black folk by the police spurred the consciences of white folk to decry and protest such treatment. Now, most grin in glee and make claims that the brutality was deserved.

    Shaking.My.Head.

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  88. dennis says:

    Let’s all be honest and realistic here: Black Lives Don’t Matter.

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  89. michael reynolds says:

    @Monala:

    Oh, I’ve never said it’s just guns. It’s very much race as well. And it’s the drug war, and the militarization that came from the War on Terror. Like most things it has multiple causes.

    But a lot of that same stuff is going on in peer nations, and somehow they manage to avoid gunning people down on a daily basis. The essential difference is obvious. All our peers have racial and ethnic tensions. All our peers have their own wars on drugs and their own wars on terror. But none of them regularly shoots the citizenry. That’s just us. And how are we different? We have guns.

    The race only theory breaks down whenever a black officer shoots a black suspect. It breaks down when white cops shoot white people. Not fatally break down, but there’s a glitch there, a little hole in the theory. A lacuna.

    Ah, but the gun as original sin theory has no lacunae. More guns = more violent death. The numbers are quite convincing. The logic makes sense as well, in fact it borders on the self-evident. The pro-gun arguments can be knocked down by any bright high school debater.

    Is there a greater than zero chance of a gun being fired by accident and killing someone? Obviously, it happens with some frequency. Is a gun a necessary element of this kind of tragedy? Yes, by definition. Therefore, does any given gun represent an increase in the statistical odds of such a fatal accident? Duh.

    Now, you could say that’s a narrow case, but the same logic applies to all subsequent cases. Do more guns mean more deaths from crimes of passion and does that represent a threat? Yep. Do they kill women disproportionately and are their murderers their spouses? Yep. Do they make it a bit easier and a whole lot more certain to kill yourself? Yep. Do they sometimes fall into the hands of predators and does that represent a threat to us all? Yep.

    When you whip out your Occam’s Brand razor and go slicing toward the single element, the essential problem, the ur of causation, it’s guns. But just to bring it full circle, in the United States, guns are race, one and indivisible. The Second Amendment was about slave hunting. Guns and race have always been entwined.

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  90. michael reynolds says:

    @dennis:

    They matter, but honest and realistic? Not as much.

    It’s like it’s buried in the math, somehow. An assumption. It’s very hard for people to get at, though I think a lot of people try. It’s down in the deep wiring. And I’m not going to pretend it isn’t in me still.

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  91. Lit3Bolt says:

    @dennis:

    Sad but farking true.

    Trayvon Martin is what opened my eyes to that. A farking kid was just straight up murdered by a random nut, and of course white America had to rush to his defense.

    Colin Kaepernick is probably going to be shot by some white terrorist/cop.

    In the meantime, when Wells Fargo management engineers massive fraud and abuse, and Donald Trump brags about illegally using his charity funds, white America just clicks their heels and snaps off a smart Nazi salute. The tribe rules.

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  92. Tyrell says:

    @Lit3Bolt: Race in this situation ? The police officer is black. The police chief is black.

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  93. Jack says:

    @Lit3Bolt:

    Trayvon Martin is what opened my eyes to that. A farking kid was just straight up murdered by a random nut, and of course white America had to rush to his defense.

    Oh, C’mon! Travon was a punk who snuck up on and attacked someone that was not the average street bum Martin was used to beating on. There were multiple in-depth investigations of both his death and that of Michael Brown…they are not modern day equivalent of Emmett Till.

    Please stop equating these people with victims. There are plenty of victims of police violence without having to dig up false idols.

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  94. KM says:

    @James Pearce:

    To be bluntly honest, for scaring the shit out of some jumpy cops. I don’t say that as a justification, because this is the very reason the shooting wasn’t justified.

    Yet fear is ALWAYS the go-to excuse in these cases.

    Since fear seems to be the motivating factor in police bad behavior, then perhaps we should be using negative reinforcement to forcefully shove some understanding up deliberately clueless blue behinds. Let’s start with the cams, shall we? The default assumption should be a body cam not on = sabotage and is punishable with mandatory two weeks in general pop in your nearest Supermax for evidence tampering. Concerned about getting in trouble because of a legit malfunction? Wear two cams, duh! That way, the odds of both being down accidentally are somewhere in the range of Satan skating to work. Plus, it offers alternate angles and keeps them out of jail so file it under officer safety, which as we all know is paramount for these departments. Video will be released promptly to the public with 5 days of the incident in it’s entirety upon a FIOA request for a good hour before and after the incident in question so there’s no “you didn’t see X” excuse. It would also provide evidence of the officers state of mind and potential aberration of behavior towards specific subjects. After all, if they expect total compliance from random members of the citizenry to their commands, the least they can offer is evidence they are not abusing this power.

    If this sounds insanely draconian, remember that police chose this dangerous job willingly and using personal fears to justify killing. I don’t see fireman running around using fear of being burned to get away with harming citizens. Nurses get puked/bled on by people with infectious diseases, soldiers face IEDs, social services gets spat on and attacked, EMTs risk their lives daily going into bad situations in even worse areas….. but only police seem to thing their risk of being shot or worse means they can end lives at will. They knew this when they took the job that bodily harm can come with the territory. If they have a problem with America adding a requirement of visibility into their fatal-to-others reaction to this stressor, then bye-bye officer. Go be a mall cop or something so you can have your petty power games without endangering lives.

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  95. Jack says:

    @Lit3Bolt:

    The brother of Keith Lamont Scott, when asked if there was anything people should know, the man, Tim Jackson, responded, “Just know that all white people are fucking devils. All white cops are fucking devils, and white people.”

    The officer who shot and killed his brother was black

    You’re right. It’s definitely about race.

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  96. Loviatar says:

    Heartfelt letter from North Carolina Pastor John Pavlovitz on Colin Kaepernick’s protest and the killing of Terence Crutcher.

    White America, It’s Time to Take a Knee

    For simply taking a knee during a football pre game in an effort to foster a conversation about the deaths of young men of color at the hands of police, these men have been made into the enemy by so much of white America. In some twisted, ironic, almost laughable missing of the point—it’s somehow become the angry black man’s fault for disparaging his country.

    White friends, if your immediate response to the shooting of Terence Crutcher is to try and justify why he’s dead, instead of asking why he was shot next to his disabled vehicle by those charged with as protecting and serving him, you may be the problem here. If you aren’t greatly burdened with grief for his family and you aren’t moved with compassion for the way scenes like this repeatedly kick people of color in the gut, you need to ask yourself some difficult questions about your own patriotism, your own appreciation of freedom, your own civic responsibility. You need to ask yourself whether you’re really for Liberty—or just white comfort.

    —–

    @michael reynolds:

    Michael, our country’s original and enduring sin has been slavery and the racist attitudes and behavior its fostered among its citizens. Everything we do to this day is a result of that original sin, whether it be to our Gun Laws, The Drug War, our economic policies, our political structures, and until very recently even down to whom we could love and marry. I believe your heart and wishes are in the right place, but race is at the root of our problems, our gun laws are a symptom.

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  97. Blue Galangal says:

    @Jack:

    Oh, C’mon! Travon was a punk who snuck up on and attacked someone that was not the average street bum Martin was used to beating on.

    This is so completely at odds with what actually happened, by witnesses, 911, and Zimmerman’s OWN testimony, I wonder what planet you currently inhabit. He was literally walking home from the store, on the phone with his girlfriend. He wasn’t sneaking up on anyone. Martin was STALKED and ATTACKED by Zimmerman, not vice versa.

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  98. Jack says:

    @Blue Galangal: Read the trial transcript. Yes, Zimmerman followed him. Note I did not say stalked. The definition of stalked does not fit this scenario. Martin then hid rather than enter his home and attacked Zimmerman from behind. Martin was on top of Zimmerman doing a ground and pound when Zimmerman shot him.

    Those are the facts.

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  99. barbintheboonies says:

    And what if he was your boy, how would you feel then. He was walking down the street and was followed by someone who should have left him alone. George Zimmerman was told by police to stop following but he could not resist. I`ll bet he always wanted to kill someone and this chance he would not waste. I`m glad George Zimmerman or jerks just like him were not around when my son or my husband were kids because they wore clothes that were not to the so called clean cut boys, but they really were just good kids trying to fit in.

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  100. barbintheboonies says:

    @KM: I believe the reason they get away with killing is, our elite are afraid that if they go after cops, the cops will not protect them when the masses storm the palaces. They do get better treatment than most occupations. This may be a bad comparison but in the Nazi camps the Nazis would assign Jews to police other Jews and they did their job for extra food. I know this is on a apples and oranges line because cops in America are not killed and tortured to do their job but they are offered extra bread.

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  101. bookdragon says:

    @michael reynolds: Well, first of all, I don’t love guns. I learned how to use one once, but I don’t own any and don’t particularly like them as weapons. In the close-up confrontation scenarios you describe, I much prefer krav maga or other hand-to-hand techniques for defense. Guns are good distance weapons. From a foot or two away, there are better options.

    …which brings me to the second point – this isn’t about the excessive number of guns in our country; it’s about excessive fear – which ironically drives some of the proliferation of guns because people seem to think of them as magic safe blankets instead of weapons requiring training, judgement and some understanding of their limitations. The thing is, police are suppose to have that training and understanding. Not being either frozen stupid or driven to hindbrain fight-or-flight response at the mere sight – or possible sight – of a gun should be a job requirement.

    If the cops are justified shooting at anyone anywhere under any circumstances because “they see a sudden movement, a shadow, something that looks like a gun and because if it is a gun they will have no time, they shoot”, then why bother with training or rules of engagement? Good grief, by this reasoning, the fact that guns exist and some people have them, whether legally or illegally, means the police should just mow everyone down on general principle!

    What’s more, it strikes me that this becomes a defense for anyone shooting a police officer. I mean, if I can’t expect police to follow even the most basic rules of engagement and should in fact expect that they will shoot me, even if all I’m doing is pulling out my wallet to show them my driver’s license, why wouldn’t I have a gun in hand ready to shoot first when an officer approaches my car?

    This way lies madness and as much as I’d personally like fewer untrained idiots out there carrying, banning guns won’t change the kind of stories we’re discussing here. As long as there’s a presumption that dark skin -> potential dangerous criminal, unarmed black men will continue to be shot by police on the justification that they felt ‘threatened’.

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  102. Bob@Youngstown says:

    Opps, Charlotte Police Chief struggles to make a distinction between ‘fully transparent’ and ‘transparent’.
    “I never said fully transparent” (emphasis added)

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  103. cian says:

    Why would anyone argue against Michael’s point? It’s so obvious I’m surprised he even had to make it. But here’s one way to find out for sure if his argument is valid or not, ask a cop. Is their job made more dangerous by the fact that whatever the situation, a gun may be involved? And if more dangerous what is their response? To place their own safety first; to not take chances; to fire before the other guy does, and thus still be alive to argue your case if it all goes wrong. Not only is that what they’d say, it’s what they are taught to think.

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  104. michael reynolds says:

    @cian:

    People think in frames. If the issue has been framed as X vs. Y and you come along and say, no, it’s Z, the immediate reaction is to reject Z because it is neither X nor Y. Then, a few years later, everyone is arguing Z and it’s received wisdom.

    I was the guy years ago who used to argue that at the core of the GOP was a racist impulse. Some of the same people now insisting that this issue be framed solely in terms of race are people who used to complain that I was fixated on race. Now the racism at the heart of the GOP is received wisdom. Which does not mean that I’m always right, or that I think I’m always right, but it should suggest to people that it’s worth considering my point of view, even when my answer is “Z.”

    It’s not complicated logic. What is the single element that could change the existing dynamic? Get rid of all racism? Impossible, and doesn’t deal with black cop on black perp shootings, or white cop on white shootings. Change the training? To do what? We’re going to actively teach cops to ignore danger to their person? That has unintended consequences written all over it, to be followed quickly by backlash. No, it’s clear that in a perfect world where I could snap my fingers and make things happen, that if I simply disappeared all civilian guns, the rate of cop shootings (going both ways) would drop dramatically. We would be Britain.

    No, the real argument the gun lovers have that they can’t make is this: I have a gun and if anyone tries to take it I will use my gun to kill. That’s the real NRA argument, the rest of it is all bullshit to be tossed around by cretins. Their core ‘argument’ is a threat. Gun owners fob off all their externalities on society – accidental shootings, suicides, accidental murders, impulse murders, fear within spousal relationships, fear in society at large, fear within the police. They create those problems and leave the rest of us to cope. Morally they’re the equals of people who dump toxic waste near playgrounds.

    Owning a gun is an anti-social act. It just is.

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  105. dennis says:

    @Blue Galangal:

    Blue, don’t bother engaging Jack. Revision of history is the conservative MO to justify their heinous thoughts that spring from the hate in their hearts.

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  106. Grewgills says:

    @Jack:

    Martin was on top of Zimmerman doing a ground and pound when Zimmerman shot him.

    You have obviously never been in the vicinity of an actual fight if you can look at the photos of Zimmerman after the incident and think that is what happened. Friends practicing MMA on mats with protective gear sparring with people that don’t want to do them permanent harm come out looking worse.

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  107. JKB says:

    One wonders why BLM is working so hard to shift the election for Trump this late in the game. Really, riots with protestor-on-protestor murders in the street, widespread looking of stores, as well as trucks stopped by the roadblocks.

    And now we see the video, that like Ferguson, it was all based on a lie. They deadman is shown with a gun by dashcam and photos of the scene clearly show a gun on the ground near the body.

    And today we learn that Obama’s DOJ is sending the same unit that helped organize BLM in Ferguson to Charlotte. These “justice” officials are not known for their non-partisanship or fairness.

    And Hillary is out with a video wondering why she’s not 50 points ahead.

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  108. Gustopher says:

    @Grewgills: And, even if Martin was beating the crap out of Zimmerman, isn’t that legal in a Stand Your Ground state?

    If someone is stalking you in a threatening manner, don’t you have a right to defend yourself?

    Had Trevor Martin beaten Zimmerman’s skull in with a rock, it would have been as legal as Zimmerman shooting him.

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  109. Gavrilo says:

    The motivations for these protests go beyond one incident and reflect the widespread belief among African-Americans that they are more likely to be the target of police violence than other individuals. As I’ve noted before, there is truth in this perception especially as it concerns young African-American males. The fact that these perceptions and this reality exists is something that goes beyond a single incident and which most people outside of minority communities don’t seem to take seriously, which is the main reason that the protest movement exists at this point.

    For decades, young African-American males have demonstrated that they are, by far, the most dangerous demographic in America, yet we’re SHOCKED that police treat young African-American males like they are the most dangerous demographic in America.

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  110. michael reynolds says:

    @Gavrilo:

    Why do we draw the lines at race? I mean, it’s pretty obvious that males of all races are the source of virtually all crime. You have any idea of how many rapes are committed by males? Pretty much all of them. Ditto murders, beatings, etc…

    So why aren’t males the suspect group?

    It’s also clear that our most pressing drug problem at the moment is hillbilly heroin. The suspect group there is white folks in poor areas. So, is that a line the police should draw? Be on the lookout for white guys with mullets?

    In terms of property crime, by far the biggest thieves work in banks and on Wall Street. Are cops casting a gimlet eye on white people wearing expensive suits and silk ties? No? Why not?

    What you’re arguing is superficially logical, but only superficially. The truth is we feel free to draw a line around black people that we will not – despite equal or greater excuse – draw around white people. We automatically exclude white people or males from being targeted as problems because the instinct is always to target the “other.” Jesus was on to something when he talked about the mote in your neighbor’s eye.

    Furthermore, if we understand that white racism is a contributing factor to all manner of pathologies that may affect parts of the black community, then the perpetrators are not the victims of that racism, but the racists themselves. Right?

    Finally, your approach ignores someone like, say, Chris Rock or Kanye West, both black males, neither a problem for the police. And yet your line surrounds them as well.

    So, what starts out looking rational is pretty quickly revealed to be prejudice.

    You want to know who carries out all school shootings? White boys. Shall we treat them as suspects?

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  111. barbintheboonies says:

    @Gavrilo: I see your point but I would add it is my observation that a lot of African Americans male and female show more guts than fear when confronted and it scares others. I wonder if it is a coping mechanism to all the abuse they have endured.

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  112. JKB says:

    @Gustopher:

    First off, Stand Your Ground had nothing to do with the Zimmerman/Martin incident. It was simple self defense law as Martin was preventing Zimmerman from departing the area.

    And, even if Martin was beating the crap out of Zimmerman, isn’t that legal in a Stand Your Ground state?

    NO. Stand Your Ground simply means that an individual being threatened or intimidated does not have to try to leave a place they are legally allowed to be and their failure to try to leave will not be a factor in the assertion of self defense.

    It does not give anyone the right to assault another person. And does not alter the factors used to determine if any force used in self defense was in appropriate and accordance with self defense laws. At the time Martin battered Zimmerman, Zimmerman was not a reasonable threat to Martin under self defense justification laws.

    If someone is stalking you in a threatening manner, don’t you have a right to defend yourself?

    You many not use preemptive force against someone who you believe is stalking you.

    Had Trevor Martin beaten Zimmerman’s skull in with a rock, it would have been as legal as Zimmerman shooting him.

    No it would not have been. Zimmerman did not present a reasonable threat of death or serious bodily injury and therefore the use of deadly force, such as hitting someone in the head with a rock, was not justified. Until the firearm was removed from its holster and in Zimmerman’s hand, it was not an element of force or deadly force. The firearm was not removed from its holster until Zimmerman had a reasonable fear of imminent death or serious bodily injury and he was justified in using deadly force to stop that threat.

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  113. MikeSJ says:

    I suspect the future of policing is going to involve much better body armor, quality camera’s built into perhaps headgear and significantly more powerful tazers.

    I can see a system where every time an officer approaches a suspect there will be a live feed to a support team as well.

    Perhaps drones will be incorporated to monitor events as well. If an officer feels they are in danger a drone perhaps could be used – if a suspect has a gun have the drone zap him…that’s probably not realistic now but give it ten or so years and lets see.

    All this is expensive but if the risk of a riot is present after every shooting then I don’t see the alternative.

    And yes, we are a society awash in guns. Chicago had 13 dead and 52 wounded over the labor day weekend. Compare this with any other modern country and the disparity is shocking.

    It’s easy to point the finger at the police and accuse them of being trigger happy but I believe that’s a symptom. The root cause is the crime & violence the police have to deal with.

    What the solution to that is I have no idea.

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  114. Gavrilo says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Nice try.

    Why do we draw the lines at race?

    I didn’t draw the lines at race. I referred to specific age, sex, and race demographic. And, I was responding to the description (young African-American males) Doug used. Also, I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention, but it’s African-Americans rioting in Charlotte because the police killed an African-American man. It’s not males rioting because the police killed a man.

    It’s also clear that our most pressing drug problem at the moment is hillbilly heroin. The suspect group there is white folks in poor areas. So, is that a line the police should draw? Be on the lookout for white guys with mullets?

    Most definitely. If the police want to target meth, they should focus on white guys with mullets. But, if the police want to target drug related homicide, they still need to focus on young African-American males who commit 2/3 of all drug related homicides.

    In terms of property crime, by far the biggest thieves work in banks and on Wall Street. Are cops casting a gimlet eye on white people wearing expensive suits and silk ties? No? Why not?

    Who says they’re not? Do you have any stats to back up that assertion. I’ll bet white people in suits ARE disproportionately convicted of financial crimes in the U.S.

    We automatically exclude white people or males from being targeted as problems because the instinct is always to target the “other.”

    No one is organizing a movement to draw attention to white people or men in general getting shot by the police. Again, no one is rioting protesting when a random white man is shot by the police. Like it or not, this is a racial issue.

    Furthermore, if we understand that white racism is a contributing factor to all manner of pathologies that may affect parts of the black community, then the perpetrators are not the victims of that racism, but the racists themselves. Right?

    Cops are not sociologists. Their job is to try to prevent crime and arrest criminals. And, statistics and their own individual experience demonstrates what particular age, sex and racial demographic is the most prone to commit violent crime.

    Finally, your approach ignores someone like, say, Chris Rock or Kanye West, both black males, neither a problem for the police.

    Only a moron would try to refute a statistical argument with two anecdotes. That you felt you needed to go there just shows how weak your position is.

    You want to know who carries out all school shootings? White boys. Shall we treat them as suspects?

    That’s simply not true. The worst school shooting in U.S. history was at Virginia Tech and the shooter was Asian. But, should school administrators be more wary of strange, white boys? I have no problem with that.

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  115. michael reynolds says:

    @Gavrilo:

    Also, I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention, but it’s African-Americans rioting in Charlotte because the police killed an African-American man. It’s not males rioting because the police killed a man.

    Uh, right. Because white males aren’t being killed by cops who assume they are criminals. Because no one has said, “Better watch out for males.” It’s black men being shot down because cops draw the conclusion you point to. Which is a self-licking popsicle: Target black men, shoot black men, black men riot, target black men.

    We don’t target males – despite males being responsible for better than 90% of all violent crime – because it is inconvenient. It’s easy to say, “Black males,” harder to say, “Males.” It’s always easier to target the “Other,” and always hard to target the “Us.”

    Here are some groups that do not commit many crimes: black women, black children, black old people. But they get looped in because of skin color.

    Here’s a group that does commit crimes: males between the ages of 16 and 30, regardless of color. And yet they are not singled out.

    So, your logic includes innocent black people as members of a possible suspect group, while excluding all whites, including the demo (young, white, male) that actually commits a huge number of crimes.

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  116. michael reynolds says:

    @JKB:

    Until the firearm was removed from its holster and in Zimmerman’s hand, it was not an element of force or deadly force.

    Bullshit.

    The presence of a gun in itself constitutes a threat. Therefore it was Martin who had the greatest reason to be afraid. Zimmerman quite clearly was a threat, what with him actually killing the unarmed Martin.

    A man with a gun is ipso facto a threat. And before you feed me the usual NRA pap, substitute hand grenade or vial of botulin toxin instead of gun.

    “Sure, I saw that he was holding a glass vial of botulism, but I wasn’t the least bit worried!”

    Not only is the presence of a gun a threat by its very nature, you know it to be, it’s why you love guns, and that makes you in addition to being an NRA stooge, either amazingly clueless or a liar, your choice.

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  117. barbintheboonies says:

    @michael reynolds: Kanye West may have been a bad example He is kinda confrontational

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  118. barbintheboonies says:

    @michael reynolds: I cannot believe anyone would find Travon to be in the wrong here. If he was the one who lived and Zimmerman died he should have been acquitted of all charges for the standing his ground law. He was followed and accosted and died defending himself.

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  119. Gavrilo says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Yes, men commit the vast, vast majority of crime, especially violent crime, in the U.S. But, among males, there is another vast disparity. For example, from 1980-2008, the white male homicide offending rate peaked at about 32 per 100000. During that same time period, the black male homicide offending rate peaked at 365 per 100000.

    It is simply a fact that young black males commit violent crime (and are, therefore, more dangerous) at rates significantly higher than young white males.

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  120. Jenos The Penitent says:

    I have finally come to accept the Wisdom of the group here. Now I understand the Truth.

    Here we have two cases where a black man was shot by police. That is not only a fact, but it is the only fact that matters.

    All other facts are not only irrelevant, but racist.

    I repeat: all other facts are not only irrelevant, but racist.

    Last week, I was pulled over by a cop. He ordered me out of my car, and I got out of my car. While he was checking my ID, I got bored and walked back to my car. He yelled for me to stop, but I ignored him. Two other cops showed up, drew their weapons, and also ordered me to stop. I went to my car and reached in the window.

    I pulled out a dozen donuts, and shared them with the cops. They all laughed and said that it was a good thing I was white, because otherwise they’d have shot me. We all toasted White Privilege and exchanged high fives, then let me go.

    Oh, did I mention that one of the cops was black? Didn’t matter. White Privilege extends to black cops, too. They’re honorary honkies.

    Last week, this story was an amusing anecdote I shared with my white friends. Now, though, I bear it as a mark of shame.

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  121. JKB says:

    @michael reynolds: he was holding a glass vial of botulism

    Perhaps you’ll note that in your example, the vial was being held, not in a holster, pocket or case.

    Surely, you don’t fear the many doctors offices that have vials of botulism on their shelfs and the staff who often have it in their hands?

    A holstered gun is not a threat according to law. Your irrational phobias are not the law. Now, placing your hand on a holstered gun, assuming other factors, can be legally seen as an imminent threat justifying using force in self defense.

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  122. Jenos The Penitent says:

    @michael reynolds: michael, my friend, please calm down. Here, have a friendly link, in honor of our newfound comradeship.

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  123. JKB says:

    @barbintheboonies: He was followed and accosted and died defending himself.

    Your knowledge of the case is faulty

    Hw was followed

    He, reportedly, and not disputed at trial, accosted Zimmerman

    He died battering a man’s head against a sidewalk, deadly force, provoking deadly force in self defense by the individual being battered.

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  124. Jenos The Penitent says:

    @JKB: Please, don’t get hung up on technicalities like the law. The mere presence of a gun is a threat of violence, even if holstered. Just like the presence of a penis, even if its owner is fully clothed, is a threat of rape. Even a rape of a child.

    Some things are just too inherently dangerous to be entrusted to just anyone.

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  125. dennis says:

    @Gavrilo:

    As a human being, you’re a sore disappointment.

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  126. Jenos The Penitent says:

    @JKB: I have to repeat myself: you’re missing the point. When a black man is killed, it is inherently racist. Other contradictory facts are themselves racist, and you bringing them up is also racist.

    Unless, of course, the black man is killed by another black man. Then it’s not worth mentioning. In fact, it’s racist to even bring that up.

    However, if the black man who does the killing is a cop, then it’s racism again. Yes, it’s complicated, but try to keep up.

    Get used to the new reality, my friend.

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  127. wr says:

    @Jack: Shorter Jack: “Come on, man! Focus on the victims we care about — you know, the white guys!”

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  128. Gavrilo says:

    @dennis:

    That’s quite the argument. Care to refute anything I wrote? Didn’t think so.

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  129. Jenos The Penitent says:

    @Jack: Jack, you need to embrace The New Reality. Innocent black men are being murdered by cops and non-blacks all the time.

    Just because damned near every single case that captures the national spotlight turns out to be a justified shooting (by the typical racist standards that don’t take into account that any killing of a black man by anyone but another black man (who isn’t a cop or other agent of The Man)) doesn’t mean that they don’t happen.

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  130. Jenos The Penitent says:

    @Gavrilo: Apparently, you didn’t get the memo that “shut up, racist” is all the answer needed. Consider yourself refuted, racist.

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  131. barbintheboonies says:

    @Jack: Why was Zimmerman following in the first place, and why did he ever get out of his rig with pistol in hand If I was Travon I would have fought for my life too.

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  132. barbintheboonies says:

    @JKB: Yea and if I were the one followed and confronted with a pistol I would have done the same as Travon and hoped for a better outcome. The fact that this pos was selling the gun that killed a young man shows just what crap he really is. Zimmerman may you rot in hell.

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  133. Jenos The Penitent says:

    @barbintheboonies: Zimmerman was following Martin because he seemed to be acting suspicously, and Zimmerman did NOT “get out of his rig with pistol in hand.” That particular fiction has been thoroughly debunked

    That’s all irrelevant, of course. Martin was black, and Zimmerman was not (he was a “white Hispanic,” whatever the hell that is), so OBVIOUSLY the shooting was racist.

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  134. Jack says:

    @wr: Shorter WR.

    I’m a giant douche who ignores actual fact because they do not fit my narrative. Oh, and I actually am a giant vinegar filled bag cleansing product for vaginas.

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  135. Jack says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    Why was Zimmerman following in the first place, and why did he ever get out of his rig with pistol in hand If I was Travon I would have fought for my life too.

    He was following Martin because he did not recognize him from that neighborhood and Martin was walking close to people’s windows. He did not exit with a gun in hand.

    Could you please show me one fact? Are you really that fwking ignorant or do you have to work at it?

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  136. wr says:

    @JKB: “He, reportedly, and not disputed at trial, accosted Zimmerman”

    Yeah. It was not disputed at trial because the only person who could have disputed it was conveniently dead.

    Funny how that works.

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  137. wr says:

    @Jenos The Penitent: Looks like Jenos had an extra Yoo-Hoo tonight. Either that or he noticed again that there are a lot of black men making more money than him. Something’s got him needing to feel like the big man.

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  138. Jenos The Penitent says:

    @wr: Gosh, so hostile. I hoped that you, of all people, would embrace my Awakening.

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  139. Barry says:

    @michael reynolds: “Now, on top of that racism and on top of that a media-driven passivity about police misconduct. But the original sin, the underlying problem, is that we have a country neck-deep in guns, and cops are justifiably scared and overreact. So long as the gun cult insists on arming criminals, cops will be scared, and cops will shoot first and ask questions later.”

    Only one problem with this – it’s clear that police shoot blacks at incredible rates.

    It’s clear that a black man can be killed with impunity if the shooter claims that he had a gun, while whites walk around armed to the teeth without being gunned down by police.

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  140. Jenos The Penitent says:

    @Barry: Absolutely right. The particular circumstances of any individual shooting is irrelevant; it is the statistics that matter.

    Which is why I propose that when a given police department starts shooting black suspects in a greater percentage than the community’s racial breakdown (say, 10% over the populace), the officers are ordered to not shoot any more blacks until they’ve shot enough whites/Asians/Hispanics to get the percentages back in line.

    We need a morgue that looks like America, dammit.

    Next up, some “affirmative action” for our prisons. If that means grabbing people for no other reason than their ethnicity to bring about a more equitable penal population, so be it. We can call it “prison busing.”

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  141. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Moderate Mom: Who said population percentage was a good number to use as a bar to decide what percentage is high, low, or about right? By your logic only 13% of the Black population should be above the poverty line, literate, have college degrees, etc…..everything above this magic 13% should be gravy. Right

    The only reason population percentage is used as a comparison number is because it best paints the black man in a bad light. The only reason you mindlessly parrot it as if you are informed–is because you are dumb.

    The best comparison to use would be how many interactions police have with Black people compared with the percentage of Blacks with no criminal records. Once its demonstrated that Blacks are over-policed based on the overwhelming amount of law-abiding black people–we can then determine that the amount of necessary police interactions are the driving force behind the high rate of deadly police encounters compared to other demographics.

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  142. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Moderate Mom: I supposed if we cared enough to check…white males also use methamphetamine and engage in kiddy porn at a higher rate than their population. You don’t see a war on meth and pedophilia though….do you? Just come out and say you don’t care for Blacks…..I lived in Mississippi for years—so Im used to bigots.

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  143. MikeSJ says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    Just out of curiosity how do you explain the murder rate in Chicago? Mostly black men killed by other black men and in rates far out of sync with national averages?

    Or am I mistaken in thinking this is true?

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  144. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Gavrilo: To whom, themselves? Lets not talk about the propensity of WHITE MEN to screw the innocence out of children–their own and others. Numbers don’t lie. Oh to heavens that we could trade the War on Drugs for a War on Kiddy Screwers. We could turn the prison populations to snow overnight.

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  145. Guarneri says:

    Obama only has a few more months left. When is he going to get after this race relations/cop problem………….or is he oh-so-close to getting that putting stroke perfected?

    Of course maybe it’s an economic strategy. You know, there’s nothing more stimulative than having to restock your looted inventory…….

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  146. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Gavrilo: Child rape and sexual predation aren’t violent crime? GTFOH Your nothing but another bigot that is gungho about prosecuting another communities ills while ignoring your own. FU!

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  147. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @JKB: It couldn’t be disputed because the other party is DEAD. Dummy.

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  148. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @MikeSJ: Chicago has an organized gang problem with rival gangs fighting from market share of the drug trade. Its about business. Furthermore, its a fair assumption is similar to New Orleans, where there are 1000-1200 people running around the city doing most of the killings–a lot of it for hire. Police never kill these guys….its always meager hustler or a motorist. Cowards.

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  149. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Jenos The Penitent: It’s almost as though you don’t know what “Oreos” are (or who “Tom” is either).

    Click.

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  150. Tyrell says:

    @Guarneri: The president wants to be out of Dodge before the economy hits the dust.

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  151. barbintheboonies says:

    @Jack: No Jack that may be you that is ignorant. A kid was killed and you think this is ok.

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  152. barbintheboonies says:

    @Jenos The Penitent: He was told to stay in his rig and stop following and he ignored the police orders. Am I wrong on that too? And if just looking suspicious is grounds for harassment God help us all.

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  153. wr says:

    @MikeSJ: “Just out of curiosity how do you explain the murder rate in Chicago? Mostly black men killed by other black men and in rates far out of sync with national averages?”

    My understanding is that it’s a long-lasting gang war, much like the ones in LA in the 80s. Most of the killers and victims are gang bangers, along with innocent bystanders.

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  154. Tyrell says:

    @wr: Get rid of the gangs and you get rid of most of the crime.

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  155. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @barbintheboonies: He was told to stay in his rig and stop following and he ignored the police orders. Am I wrong on that too?

    Actually, you’re wrong about pretty much everything there.

    1) He was already out of his truck when he called.

    2) The 911 operator explicitly did NOT tell him to stop following — the exact words were “we don’t need you to do that.”

    3) The 911 operator is not an officer, has no authority to give instructions, and are specifically trained to NOT give instructions.

    4) His story is that he lost sight of Martin and did return to his vehicle, as suggested by the operator, and the circumstantial evidence supports that story.

    But again, those are facts, and facts are racist things. The only relevant facts are these:

    A) Martin was black.

    B) Martin was 17.

    C) Zimmerman was not black. (Or, at least, not sufficiently black.)

    Based on that, Zimmerman’s acquittal was a gross miscarriage of justice. And to disagree with that is to declare yourself a racist.

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  156. wr says:

    @Tyrell: Yup. And legalize drugs and you get rid of the gangs.

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  157. wr says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable: And remember – Jenos is not slavishly in love with Zimmerman. He only posts these messages because Doug doesn’t write enough about the case.

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  158. Tyrell says:

    @wr: good point there.

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  159. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @wr: There’s an easy way to keep me from correcting lies. That’s to stop telling those lies in the first place.

    In your case, I understand that’s something you’re congenitally incapable of doing, but I hope that others can overcome that.

    And time for another flashback:

    Here, let me save you a whole lot of time and (for you) a whole lot of effort by paraphrasing your next 583 comments: “Jenos, you’re a racist and you have homoerotic feelings towards this other racist.”

    I think we’re down to about 560 or so — I’ve lost track, and might have missed a few.

    And I just had an observation: you use “in love” as an insult, and your comments are pretty much always filled with anger and hate and rage. What kind of person only expresses negative feelings, and sees saying someone is “in love” as an insult? Just how empty is your life, anyway? What happened to you that makes you see “love” as something so negative?

    Now, the homophobic element is another whole kettle of fish, and one I don’t feel like delving into. But you really ought to consider some introspection. Or — if you’re as incapable of it as I suspect you are — go see a counselor. Maybe they can help you understand why you need to express your hatred in such homophobic manners.

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  160. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @Tyrell: No, that’s not a good point. It’s a stupid one. Drugs aren’t the reason for the gangs, they’re the excuse. Legalize drugs and they will find some other law to circumvent.

    It’s the illegal aspect that draws them, not the drugs per se. Because the illegal part feeds into their need to be outlaws, that grants them their economic incentive.

    The gangs want money and power and fear. The drugs are merely a means to that end. And they are far from the only means. Change the law, they’ll find something else.

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  161. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @Tyrell: And think things through a little. We should legalize heroin and meth and crack, but ban cigarettes and large sodas and goose pate and Twinkies?

    Whatever you ban, you create an underground demand for. And there will be people who will do whatever they need to do to meet that demand — because that’s where the money is.

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  162. barbintheboonies says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable: Am I wrong to say the 911 officer works for the police dept. or is trained to give this advice?

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  163. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @barbintheboonies: Am I wrong to say the 911 officer works for the police dept. or is trained to give this advice?

    You are wrong to call them an “officer,” and they are specifically trained to NOT give “advice” or “commands.” And it’s questionable if they actually work for the police department. So, yeah, you’re wrong.

    If you actually listened to the 911 call, you would hear the operator say “we don’t need you to do that.” That phrasing was not an accident. He did not say “don’t do that,” or “we don’t want you to do that,” or even “please don’t do that.”

    Here’s a detailed analysis of that point, so you can stop being mistaken.

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  164. wr says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable: “What happened to you that makes you see “love” as something so negative?”

    Oooh, nice try there. A definite improvement over your usual “you’re a big stupid poopy head.”

    It doesn’t actually make a lick of sense if you think about it for two seconds, but that’s twice the staying power of most of your attempts, so yay you!

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  165. wr says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable: ” Drugs aren’t the reason for the gangs, they’re the excuse. Legalize drugs and they will find some other law to circumvent.”

    And now, the prize for today’s dumbest thing said on the internet goes to Jenos!

    Gangs don’t sell drugs — and wage wars over them — because they’re looking for some “law to circumvent” and this one is convenient. Gangs sell drugs because they make money doing it, and the reason they can make a lot of money is because drugs are expensive because of the laws against them. You don’t see a lot of gang wars over liquor anymore, because liquor is no longer illegal.

    And yes, there will still be criminals out there even we legalize drugs. But there won’t be gang wars like we have today.

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  166. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @wr: Good lord, how do you actually manage to type words and sentences, when you’re that stupid?

    So you take away the illegal drug market. You seem to assume that the gangs will then go find some legal activity to take its place — maybe form a band, or a sports team, or a stamp-collecting club.

    No, you colossal moron, they will find some other way to make money. And since they are already used to breaking the law, and like the ready money available with illegal trafficking, so they’ll find some other form of contraband to make their money.

    Legalize some drugs? They’ll move on to those that remain illegal.

    Legalize all drugs? They’ll start running tax-free alcohol and tobacco.

    In New York, they might start selling 20-ounce sodas and plastic grocery bags. Soon, it might also be e-cigarettes or whatever else gets banned.

    Prostitution is always popular for raising illegal money. It’s a wonderful business model — as the old joke goes, “you got it, you sell it, you still got it.” So corner the market on prostitution.

    They already traffic in illegal guns. If you get the gun laws you fantasize about, they’ll have even more cause to traffic in guns.

    You’ve always been great at demonstrating your mental shortcomings. Here, you show that you lack anything even resembling imagination.

    Unless you’re projecting your homoerotic fantasies on people you hate, of course. That’s about the only area where you’ve demonstrated anything resembling creativity.

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