The Liberation of Loretta Lynch

Loretta Lynch and some guy hanging out.

After being held hostage by a ruthless Republican majority for an absurd 164 days,  Loretta Lynch,  President Obama’s choice to replace Eric Holder at the Justice Department was easily confirmed by the Senate by a margin of 56-43 with ten Republicans voting for the first African-American woman to serve as Attorney General of the United States.

And it’s about damn time.  Lynch’s wait was longer than the last seven Attorney Generals combined.   Normally, I despise The Huffington Post, but give the devil his due; they were right on point with how ridiculously excessive the delay was for Lynch.

Look at Lynch’s predecessors. John Ashcroft waited 42 days to get confirmed as President George W. Bush’s attorney general. Janet Reno waited just 29 days to be confirmed as President Bill Clinton’s attorney general. If you add up the number of days the previous seven U.S. attorneys general waited to be confirmed, and combine them, that’s still less than 163 days.

“Gazillions of mosquitoes were born, lived to be old in mosquito years and died in less time than Lynch has been waiting. Kim Kardashian, Britney Spears and Dennis Rodman all got married and filed for divorce in less time — combined! For the love of God, Earth was created in less time.

There was NO justification for the Senate holding Loretta Lynch’s nomination to be Attorney General hostage. Absolutely none. Lynch waited 10 times longer than the average attorney general nominee and had waited longer than the first 54 a.g. nominees combined from the presidencies of George Washington to Woodrow Wilson.

Both sides of the Senate share the blame for the historical delay. Harry Reid could have pushed for Lynch’s hearings and floor vote to be conducted while Democrats still controlled the Senate, but he punted to Mitch McConnell, who proceeded to put the nomination in the deep freeze while Republicans squabbled with Democrats over the unrelated sex-trafficking bill.

Lynch’s nomination was supported by wild-eyed liberals like Jeb Bush, Rudy Giuliani, former FBI director Louie Freeh and former Bush Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. This was a moderate and mainstream career prosecutor President Obama selected, but from the shabby way the McConnell Senate treated her you would have thought she was the second coming of William Kunstler.

Finally on the job.

Obama did not choose Lynch to provoke the Republicans.  Anyone he nominated would do that.   It doesn’t take much to set off nuts like Ted Cruz.   Never one to pass on an opportunity to throw bloody chunks of red meat to his brain-dead devotees, he denounced Lynch as “lawless” and then was the only senator to skip the vote.   What an asshole.

It was not about partisanship, but pragmatism that led Obama to tap Lynch to be Holder’s successor.   She is not a committed Leftist, progressive or liberal. She’s a career prosecutor with impeccable legal credentials. Not being an ideological purist made her confirmable and even then she faced an unprecedented degree of stonewalling and footdragging from the obstructionist Republican-led Senate and all this for a job she won’t even have in two years.

Lynch will likely be a less controversial A.G. than Holder who never backed away from a fight with Republicans on the Hill whom  are probably toasting his departure.   Will Lynch handle the harassment from Congressional Republicans as well?   She’ll likely get her as the GOP have plenty of investigations planned for the last two years of the Obama Administration.

I’m past the point where putting a person of color or woman in a place formerly occupied exclusively by straight, Christian White males is a reason to raise my glass.   Under Holder and Obama, the Justice Department has declined to indict anyone for violating the civil rights of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner and Michael Brown.   Will Lynch be any different in the cases of Tamir Rice or Walter Scott?  I’m keeping an open mind, but my expectations are low.

I take pride in Loretta Lynch becoming the nation’s first female African American Attorney General, but when I disagree with her decisions, it will be no different than when I disagree with the first African American President.

If You’re Ready for Hillary She’s Ready for You.

Give a big hand for the little lady.

 

Having lived in the public spotlight for so many years and being accused of being everything from a closeted lesbian to a murderer, taking swings at the Hillary Punching Bag has a fun activity for her opponents since the early Nineties. That is not to say there isn’t more to know about Clinton including more stuff she doesn’t want us to know, but there isn’t a candidate living who hasn’t had her past scrutinized as closely as Hillary Rodham Clinton and the opposition research folders runneth over already.

She wouldn’t bother running if she wasn’t ready for all the guns that will be trained on her, but that’s nothing new.  Even if there’s no one like Barack Obama in 2008 waiting in the wings to deny her the party nomination (and there isn’t), Clinton is the most formidable candidate in either party running.  She’s setting the pace and everyone is trying to keep up with it.

There’s a chance Jim Webb, Joe Biden, Marty O’Malley, Bernie Sanders or Lincoln Chafee steps up to the mic and throws down with Hillary in an epic rap battle. Not much of a chance, mind you.   As for Jeb Bush, Rand Paul, Macro Rubio and all the rest of the crew in the Republican Clown Car, they have to fight it out among themselves first before they can step up to take down Clinton.

In some ways it works  to the benefit of the Republicans all the buzz is on their side with the scrum they’re about to engage in. After all, they are the ones whom have been out of the White House for eight years.   They need to convince the American people to step on the lot and test drive all the shiny new models on display in the showroom and their best sales pitch is do you really want the 2016 Hillary that hasn’t changed a thing besides swapping out the CD player for an iPod?

The front-runner is 19 months away from the finish line.

 

Already Clinton is being beaten up because she’s not the warmest woman in the world.  Likability is an overrated trait in politics.  It’s more important to have a president who can handle the forest fires big and small that come across their desk every day instead of whether  they’re a good guy to tip back a beer with.   If Clinton comes off as stiff and unapproachable, that’s not a deal-breaker for me.   An aloof Hillary is better than a friendly Ted Cruz.

As far as not being tested if she doesn’t receive a credible primary challenger, the only bad aspect for Hillary is it allows the Republicans to  attack relentlessly.   While they are all taking free shots at Clinton, she has to choose between reacting and responding or try to ignore it until the GOP finds their hitman to send after her.   It’s the Republicans who will get to set the parameters of the debate in the general election if Clinton sits back and plays defense.

In the 19 months between now and November 2016, the men and women running for president will be asked many questions. Some smart ones, some silly ones, some stupid ones.   Here is one anybody who wants the job should have to answer.

We have Osama bin Laden’s home address. We know he’s going to be there, but we can’t send in the Navy Seals, Delta Force or The Expendables. It’s too dangerous. We need to take him out with a drone, but there are women and children in the house with bin Laden and if we take him out we’re going to take them out too.

We’ve waited for years for this opportunity. We miss him now and we might have to wait years more before we get this opportunity again.

Mr. (or Mrs.) President, what are your orders?

Anyone who wants the job of being the President of the United States who isn’t ready to say, “Take him out,” is instantly disqualified and should be kept as far away from the Oval Office as possible.

Peek-a-boo! Hillary sees you!

Every man who’s ever been president has had to choose those whom get to live and those who have to die then deal with the consequences of their actions.   It’s cool if want your president to be someone could borrow your lawn mower and you wouldn’t have to bang on their door to get it back, but be sure you choose one who can also be the biggest, coldest bastard in the world if the situation calls for it.

There is little doubt Hillary Clinton could give the order.  She and Bill might have looked like peace and love hippies in the day, but on the global stage, she’s no latte-slurping Lefty.

It’s not that’s she is too old, or overly aggressive/ambitious, or entitled or too scandal-plagued, or electing her would effectively be Obama’s third term.  The best argument to be made against another Clinton as president is “What’s so different about Hillary in 2016 than 2008?”

If Hillary can’t win that argument she loses.

Live. Die. Repeat.

Running feet do not trump flying bullets.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

A Black man.  A car.  A White cop.   Black man runs.  White cops shoots.  Black man dies.   White cop arrested and charged for killing the Black man.

Sound familiar?  It should, but it’s not Walter Scott being gunned down as he runs away from Officer Michael Slager in North Charleston, South Carolina.   It’s Jonathan Ferrell, the 24-year-old former Florida A&M football player whom in September 2013 survived crashing his car in Charlotte, North Carolina only to be shot down when Officer Randall Kerrick shot Ferrell 12 times striking him with 10 shots. Crawling from the wreckage of his car a, bloody and disoriented Ferrell banged on a frightened woman’s door and officer responding to the 911 claim he rushed them.

Then, as with Scott, a Taser was used by the cops against Ferrell and failed to stop him.  There was also a dash-cam video of Kerrick killing Ferrell, but it was never released publicly.   Kerrick was fired, indicted and faces trial…oh hell, I don’t know.  SOMETIME in 2015.  Or maybe next year.  Or maybe never.  It’s hard to say with any certainty.

Despite all the absolute certainty repeatedly expressed in this thread that Michael Slager is guilty as sin for murdering Walter Scott, please remember there was video of Rodney King being beaten and Eric Garner being choked to death and we all know how those cases turned.

Slager has a new attorney who has a reputation of taking on tough cases and winning them including a cop accused of killing a suspect.  Slager will get his day in court (or he may not if he isn’t indicted) and he is entitled to mount a defense,  In the hands of a skilled attorney up can be turned to down and what looks an absolute certainty now can become an acquittal if only one juror finds there is reasonable doubt.

That’s the one upside of being completely cynical about successfully prosecuting and convicting a killer cop; when it doesn’t happen you’re never shocked by it.

If I wanted to I could update my blog with nothing but updates of cops shooting Black men.   I could, but I don’t want to. If I never wrote another post about a Black man killed by a cop, I’d be thrilled.

But racist police brutalizing us is a growth industry and business is good. Cops beating up, beating down and fucking up the world of Black people is an common event. It’s common practice.  Beaten.  Brutalized.  Bloodied.  This shit HAPPENS EVERY DAY. No holidays. No days off. No breaks. No pause. No let up of boots up the ass and on the necks of Black people.

Slam dunks are for the basketball court, not a court a law. A video is not a conviction.  There have always been cops whom  kill unarmed suspects, plant weapons on them and walk away from it and that is what would have happened had not someone filmed it.

Yet time and again, though the camera never lies, it doesn’t always lead to the truth and I have no faith it will in this case. The man behind the video, Feidin Santana admitted he gave serious thought to erasing the video.  Imagine how differently this story would have played out if he had.

If Slager is charged, he won’t be indicted. If indicted he won’t be put on trial. If put on trial, he won’t be convicted. If convicted, he won’t be imprisoned and he will NEVER be sentenced to death.   The good faith Americans place in the justice system is devout and guileless. unfortunately, the hard truth is their faith is all too frequently false and unfounded.  It’s more likely Slager walks away from this and U.S. Supreme Court precedent is why.

Maybe things will be different this time, huh?   Let’s all close our eyes, clap our hands and wish for ponies this Christmas too.

You have the right to remain silent. Forever.

Would You Please Sign My “Kill the Gays” Proposal?

Y’know, I always wondered about those two…

Though it might seem like the recent “religious freedom” act signed into law by Indiana’s Republican governor is a giant step backwards for gay rights, all things considered the U.S. is a pretty good place to be LGBT. It could always be better, but despite the reactionaries on the Right trying to push gays back into the closet, both public sentiment and history are lined up against them. These are the desperate acts of small-minded bigoted homophobes.

That’s not to say everything is sunshine and flowers. I’m not gay, but if I were and read the details of the proposed Sodomite Suppression Act and wonder if I went to sleep in America and woke up in the dark ages somewhere in Iran, Uganda, or Nigeria where putting homosexuals to death is legally codified.

In February, California attorney Matt McLaughlin paid $200 to propose a ballot measure called the Sodomite Suppression Act. McLaughlin’s measure describes gay sex as “a monstrous evil that Almighty God … commands us to suppress on pain of utter destruction.” Given these high stakes, McLaughlin suggests all gay people “be put to death by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method.”

An excerpt of McLaughlin’s proposed law:

a) The abominable crime against nature known as buggery, called also sodomy, is a monstrous evil that Almighty God, giver of freedom and liberty, commands us to suppress on pain of our utter destruction even as he overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.
b) Seeing that it is better that offenders should die rather than that all of us should be killed by God’s just wrath against us for the folly of tolerating-wickedness in our midst, the People of California wisely command, in the fear of God, that any person who willingly touches another person of the same gender for purposes of sexual gratification be put to death by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method.
c) No person shall distribute, perform, or transmit sodomistic propaganda directly or indirectly by any means to any person under the age of majority. Sodomistic propaganda is defined as anything aimed at creating an interest in or an acceptance of human sexual relations other than between a man and a woman. Every offender shall be fined $1 million per occurrence, and/or imprisoned up to 10 years, and/or expelled from the boundaries of the state of California for up to life.
d) No person shall serve in any public office, nor serve in public employment, nor enjoy any public benefit, who is a sodomite or who espouses sodomistic propaganda or who belongs to any group that does.

Makes doggone good sense to me.

Monstrous and appalling. Such evil hatred makes me sad for this world and violated by reading such filth.   This insanity is the pushback that comes from people on the wrong side of history.

Whenever you see guys like Mr. McLaughlin whom are simply obsessed and thinking about these homosexuals and the things they do and how it creeps him out and its on his mind all the time all day long it makes you wonder why, oh, why is he on this Evil Sodomite Thing?

Maybe The Onion had the answer?.

A letter writer to the San Diego Gay and Lesbian Times crunched the numbers and calculated the possible effects if Mr. McLaughlin’s murderous proposal were approved.

Here’s how lawyer Matthew McLaughlin’s initiative would actually pan out:

1. Assuming you kill 1.4 million people (approximate LGBT population of California) and congressional seats are based on population, you would lose two seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

2. Next, consider that the median income of Californians is $61,000 and the average household size is 2.9 people. The average state income tax rate is 8%. Killing off the LGBT community would cause a loss of $40 million in tax revenue in California each year. The Fed would be out $112 million annually

3. Finally, the average additional cost associated with a capital punishment trial is $1 million per person. Multiply that times 1.4 million LGBT and well, you do the math.

I believe not only should this “attorney” be disbarred, he should also be charged with all applicable crimes. Matthew G. McLaughlin is perhaps proposing killing more people at one time than were killed at Auschwitz during World War II.

Until such time as the laws of California are changed, McLaughlin is within his rights to file his disgusting proposal no matter how nuts it is. This perversion of the process allows McLaughlin to go looking for about 370,000 like-minded morons to sign his proposal in a state of nearly 39 million and the Sodomite Suppression Act would end up on the ballot. Even if it were defeated as it definitely would be, as the law currently exists, there is nothing to stop McLaughlin from coughing up another $200 to try it again,

Attorney General Kamala Harris  would like to find a court to allow her to deny certifying of McLaughlin’s putrid proposal, but legal experts doubt she will able to.

It’s not a quantum leap from state-approved discrimination against the LGBT community to state-approved executions. How dare we sneer at the Islamic extremists when we have good Christian extremists doing the same thing here?

What the hell happened to the American Dream? How did it get warped and perverted to this?

The only way to hold back the darkness of ignorance descending on this country, is to drag the homophobic bigots kicking and screaming into the light.  From a crank in California to the governor of Indiana.

The choice is between everybody having theirs rights or the last rites.   McLaughlin has the right to hate homosexuals and want to see them dead, but not the right to force the state to do his dirty work for him.

California A. G. Harris wants to block the “Kill the Gays” proposal, but likely will not be able to.

The Just Cause of “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot.”

Mr. Capehart says, Put your hands down, kids.

 

I respect columnist Jonathan Capehart and more often than not agree with his opinion, but his opinion “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot Was Built On A Lie” is wrong-headed and reflects a sort of timid liberal buyer’s remorse in highly charged matters of race when backed into a corner.  Capehart’s crawfishing was swiftly seized upon by conservative websites Hot Air, The Blaze and other right-wingers to discredit the legitimacy of the entire “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” protests.

Capehart’s gift to those who never have believed Black Lives Matter is wrapped in one graph:

The unarmed 18-year-old also became a potent symbol of the lack of trust between African Americans and law enforcement. Not just in Ferguson, but in the rest of the country. Lord knows there have been plenty of recent examples. And the militarized response to protesters by local police put an exclamation point on demonstrators’ concerns. But the other DOJ report, the one on the actual shooting of Michael Brown, shows him to be an inappropriate symbol.


Capehart is correct to get a fuller picture of what happened in Ferguson requires reading both Justice Department reports. Capehart is wrong that the legitimacy of the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” phrase is dependent on whether Brown ever said it.

What does it matter if Michael Brown wasn’t a perfect victim?  Does that mean Darren Wilson is blameless for his death? For Capehart, the Justice Department report on the shooting is enough for him to declare Brown to be in fact the oversized thug Wilson’s defenders described him as.

Whether or not Brown or John Crawford or Akai Gurley or Eric Garner or Oscar Grant or Amadou Diallo or Sean Bell or Tamir Rice or Tony Robinson were as pure as the driven snow is besides the point. That they were all unarmed Black men killed by the police is the point and neither the report nor Capehart’s change of heart changes that.

Wilson never went on trial for the killing of Brown and the Justice Department report does not place Michael Brown on trial nor does it convict him. Capehart’s hand-wringing does not exculpate Wilson from the eight bullets he put in Brown or that the notoriously racist Ferguson Police left his corpse lying uncovered in the street for four hours cooking in the summer heat, in full view for all to see.

The New Republic is skeptical of how the Justice Department’s report has been used as a de facto exoneration of Wilson and a conviction of Brown.

These conclusions carry no force of law. The separate report on the abuses by the Ferguson Police Department does—that one can lead to meaningful enforcement in federal court. But the decision not to prosecute Wilson, in technical terms, amounts to no more than an internal memorandum from junior prosecutors to Attorney General Eric Holder on whether charges were advisable. The end result was entirely discretionary.

But the report does not equal justice. It is largely advisory. It can’t be challenged anywhere. And it ultimately proves nothing about the Ferguson case or its larger meaning in an ongoing national movement. The Supreme Court or a trial court may never get to address Ferguson, but everything about it will continue to be, to borrow Justice Douglas’ words, “a shocking and revolting episode in law enforcement.” Because Ferguson stands for that and so much more, protesters have every right to keep on marching, with their hands up, for as long as there’s neither justice nor peace.

What happened to Mike Brown could have happened to any Black person at anytime and it doesn’t matter if your name is Ben Carson or Barack Obama and yes, you too Jonathan Capehart. Your degrees, your gig at the Washington Post, Your Pulitzer Prize, your fat bank account, your nice house, your gold AmEx, your Lexus, NONE of that shit trumps your Black skin.  Capehart was once all in on the protests.  What caused the reversal?  Capehart was looking for justice when he should have kept the faith.

Hands Up, Don’t Shoot is bigger than any one victim and Brown was a victim.  Movements are built upon martyrs, not saints. Hands Up, Don’t Shoot is not Mike Brown. Brown was a catalyst for a just cause.  Just cause Capehart doesn’t get it is not a reason to put our hands down and let them shoot.

MLK gets it even if Capehart doesn’t.

Are The 47 Morons Treacherous or Treasonous?

Let’s be clear about something.

I find this brazen move by the Republican senators to do an end-run around the president’s authority to conduct foreign policy to be openly contemptuous of the Chief Executive and groveling in its submission to the demands of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his billionaire backer Sheldon Adelson. I’m still of the mind the letter was poorly conceived, mischievously motivated, and borderline subversive in how these 47 Morons tried to kneecap the President. Treasonous? I heard that word tossed around a lot of talk radio on my lunch hour. Not there yet, but treacherous? Definitely.

Joe Biden didn’t go that far either though he wasn’t happy with his former colleagues.

Vice President Joe Biden on Monday night scorched the 47 Senate Republicans who signed an open letter to Iran’s leadership in a bid to undermine a potential deal on the country’s nuclear program, calling the senators’ letter “beneath the dignity” of the chamber in which they serve.

“I served in the United States Senate for thirty-six years. I believe deeply in its traditions, in its value as an institution, and in its indispensable constitutional role in the conduct of our foreign policy,” Biden’s statement said. “The letter sent on March 9th by forty-seven Republican Senators to the Islamic Republic of Iran, expressly designed to undercut a sitting President in the midst of sensitive international negotiations, is beneath the dignity of an institution I revere.”

“This letter sends a highly misleading signal to friend and foe alike that our Commander-in-Chief cannot deliver on America’s commitments — a message that is as false as it is dangerous,” Biden said.

The G.O.Tea Party.

Seven members of the Senate Republican caucus did not sign the letter, including Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Corker (R-TN), as well as Sens. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Lisa Murkowksi (R-AK), Dan Coats (R-IN), Susan Collins (R-ME), Thad Cochran (R-MS), and Lamar Alexander (R-TN).

Mitch McConnell, Tom Cotton and these 45 morons are playing a dangerous game. What do they hope to achieve beyond the gratitude of Netanyahu and Adelson for publicly kissing their asses?  What they have done is a craven attempt to undermine the Constitutional responsibilities and authority of the President of the United States and that’s not a trifling thing which can be waved off as “just politics.”  Not when they’re putting a right-wing agenda ahead of the national security of the United States.

The letter doesn’t even make sense.  The president doesn’t need Congress to ratify anything. The Senate has no say here and that’s why they are trying to undermine the negotiations with Iraq. Reference Fred Kaplan’s brilliant article in Slate:

The letter—which encourages Iran’s leaders to dismiss the ongoing nuclear talks with the United States and five other nations—is as brazen, gratuitous, and plainly stupid an act as any committed by the Senate in recent times, and that says a lot. It may also be illegal.

The banalities begin with the greeting: “An Open Letter to the Leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran.” By custom, a serious letter to foreign leaders would address them by name. Who is it that the senators are seeking to influence: the supreme leader, the Parliament, the Revolutionary Guards? Clearly none of the above, otherwise it wouldn’t be an open letter. Nor, if this were a serious attempt of some sort, would Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (who was among the missive’s signatories) leave the task of organizing it to the likes of Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, an otherwise unknown freshman. As usual, the Republicans’ goal is simple: to embarrass and undermine President Barack Obama.

Reading this, one can only wonder if these Republicans ever consult their staffs. As the Iranian leaders know, and as the Obama administration and the other P5+1 governments have made clear all along, the deal being negotiated is not a treaty, nor is it an agreement. Rather, it is a nonbinding international arrangement, to be signed (if it is signed) by the United States, the United Kingdom, France, China, Russia, Germany, and Iran.

In other words, contrary to the letter writers, Congress has no legal or constitutional role in the drafting, approval, or modification of this deal.

Sheldon and Bibi have their own Big Bang Theory: a U.S. war with Iraq.

Which doesn’t meant they won’t try to stick their dirty little fingers in the pie.

What is the Republicans’ motives? Besides spite and obeying the wishes of a billionaire gambler whose money is deployed on behalf of right-wing causes and Nethanyahu’s wish for a war with Iran.

Why do 47 Republican Senators think it’s a great idea to kneecap the President by attempting to undercut his authority to conduct foreign policy? Why open themselves up to even the speculation they engaged in subversive, and perhaps treasonous behavior? Despising Obama and wanting to deny him any triumphs is petty and partisan, but does that explain this degree of pettiness and partisanship?

Sure it does. Why not? It’s not as though they will pay any sort of price for it. The home folks will applaud ’em for punking the usurper from Kenya and if the 47 get hammered by the press and the Lefties start circulating some meaningless petitions demanding an apology that’s never coming, who cares?   This is March 2015.  Who’s going to remember this in November 2016?

NOBODY. 

The 47 Morons did what they did for the oldest reason in the book. They knew they would get away with it.   They are willing to start a war to stop Obama.

I changed my mind.  That is treasonous.

The Gangster Squad

Which one of these cops is the good cop?

I know most people aren’t interested in reading U.S. Justice Department reports, but this one was a damning indictment of the Ferguson Police Department and how cop shops like them wage war against the Black citizens they are supposed to protect.

Particularly, in their attempts at what passes as “humor” by the cops.

We have discovered evidence of racial bias in emails sent by Ferguson officials, all of whom are current employees, almost without exception through their official City of Ferguson email accounts, and apparently sent during work hours. These email exchanges involved several police and court supervisors, including FPD supervisors and commanders. The following emails are illustrative:

  • A November 2008 email stated that President Barack Obama would not be President for very long because “what black man holds a steady job for four years.”
  • A March 2010 email mocked African Americans through speech and familial stereotypes, using a story involving child support. One line from the email read: “I be so glad that dis be my last child support payment! Month after month, year after year, all dose payments!”
    An April 2011 email depicted President Barack Obama as a chimpanzee.
  • A May 2011 email stated: “An African-American woman in New Orleans was admitted into the hospital for a pregnancy termination. Two weeks later she received a check for $5,000. She phoned the hospital to ask who it was from.The hospital said, ‘Crimestoppers.’”
  • A June 2011 email described a man seeking to obtain “welfare” for his dogs because they are “mixed in color, unemployed, lazy, can’t speak English and have no frigging clue who their Daddies are.”
  • An October 2011 email included a photo of a bare-chested group of dancing women, apparently in Africa, with the caption, “Michelle Obama’s High School Reunion.”
  • A December 2011 email included jokes that are based on offensive stereotypes about Muslims.

Attorney General Holder is ready to slap down the Ferguson police department.

Our review of documents revealed many additional email communications that exhibited racial or ethnic bias, as well as other forms of bias. Our investigation has not revealed any indication that any officer or court clerk engaged in these communications was ever disciplined. Nor did we see a single instance in which a police or court recipient of such an email asked that the sender refrain from sending such emails, or any indication that these emails were reported as inappropriate. Instead, the emails were usually forwarded along to others.

We did find one instance in 2012 in which the City Manager forwarded an email that played upon stereotypes of Latinos, but within minutes of sending it, sent another email to the recipient in which he stated he had not seen the offensive part of the email and apologized for the “inappropriate and offensive” message. Police and court staff took no such corrective action, and indeed in many instances expressed amusement at the offensive correspondence.

Critically, each of these email exchanges involved supervisors of FPD’s patrol and court operations. 5 FPD patrol supervisors are responsible for holding officers accountable to governing laws, including the Constitution, and helping to ensure that officers treat all people equally under the law, regardless of race or any other protected characteristic. The racial animus and stereotypes expressed by these supervisors suggest that they are unlikely to hold an officer accountable for discriminatory conduct or to take any steps to discourage the development or perpetuation of racial stereotypes among officers.  (emphasis added)
This isn’t a matter of “a few bad cops.” These were supervisors and in positions of authority. It speaks volumes on why in Ferguson the police are seen not as protectors, but overseers.

The mayor hasn’t resigned, the police chief hasn’t been fired and the City Council hasn’t quit en masse.  The whole corrupt, dirty, rotten racist status quo remains firmly in place and the whole damn system is guilty.
Not only did police stop blacks at a rate greater than their share of the population—from 2012 to 2014, blacks were 67 percent of Ferguson residents but 85 percent of traffic stops—but they were twice as likely to search blacks than they were whites, who were 26 percent more likely to have actual contraband.

You see the same dynamic with small, discretionary infractions. Ninety-five percent of tickets for jaywalking were against black residents, as were 94 percent of all “failure to comply” charges. Either black people were the only Ferguson citizens to jaywalk, or the department was targeting blacks for enforcement. On the rare occasion when police charged whites with these minor offenses, they were 68 percent more likely to have their cases dismissed. And because supervisors awarded promotions on the basis of officer “productivity,” there was little incentive to stop any of this behavior.

The most disturbing statistics are with regard to arrest, incarceration, and police force. Ninety-three percent of all arrests in Ferguson were of black Americans, and 88 percent of use-of-force incidents were against them. In cases where police had warrants, 92 percent were for blacks. Of those arrested for outstanding warrants, 96 percent were black, and among people jailed for more than two days, 95 percent were black. And in a terrible callback to Jim Crow, police used canines exclusively against black residents, including a 14-year-old boy who suffered puncture wounds in his arms, hands, and legs.
Who let the dogs out?  Fifty years have passed since the march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge and the only thing that has changed are the names and details. Good-bye, Selma, Hello, Ferguson.  The entrenched institutional racism of the police hasn’t taken a backward step.

It’s time we stopped asking, “Why do good cops stand up for bad cops?”  The answer is irrelevant.  Cops cover for cops.  Darren Wilson wasn’t the lone good cop in a bad police department.  He merely happened to be the one who killed Mike Brown.   If you work in an evil place and you remain silent and passive about evil, you can’t claim to be good.   If the culture of policing encourages passivity and conformity among its members and enforces a code of compliance and silence as it closes ranks among its worst members, that is a culture ripe to be changed.

Good cop?  Bad cop?  Doesn’t matter. If the good cop won’t stand up against the bad cop they’re the same cop.

Illustration by Andy Marlette/News Journal

Fake Gun. Real Dead. Not His Fault.

Created by God. Killed by cop.

The city of Cleveland believes it has determined who is responsible for the death of Tamir Rice.  Tamir Rice did it!

The city of Cleveland’s response to a lawsuit filed by the family of Tamir Rice says the 12-year-old boy is to blame for his own death by police.

The young boy seen milling about his neighborhood park had less than two seconds to react to two Cleveland police officers who drove right up to the gazebo and shot Tamir, mistaking his pellet gun as a real and dangerous weapon.

Rookie police officer Timothy Loehmann shot Tamir dead just steps away from the park’s gazebo on Nov. 22, reportedly never knowing dispatchers had believed the firearm to be “probably fake.”

The majority of the city’s response lacked elaborate detail into their claims by leaning on Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office’s incomplete investigation for the inability to comment on Tamir’s death.

The case has not been completed by the Sheriff’s Office and no timeline exists for its hand off to prosecutors, Cleveland.com reported.

Despite the city’s recent hire of Loehmann, the city said it had no knowledge of the cop’s alleged applications to Akron, Euclid and Parma Heights Police and even failing the Cuyahoga County’s written examination.

The suit makes no mention of Loehmann’s brief ties to Independence Police where he was described as “distracted” and “weepy” during a firearms qualifications training before being fired in 2012.

“Nothing wrong with shooting people as long as the right people get shot.”

Blaming Rice for his own death is cruel to the dead boy and his family, but Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association Steve Loomis ups the ante to insanity as he calls Rice as “menacing” and “a 12-year-old in an adult body.”

Nothing gets Steve Loomis churning faster than questions about what happened on the day that Tamir Rice was shot.

His constant refrain: The police are heroes misunderstood by a public being fed a steady, media-generated, activist-fueled diet of false information about how they do their jobs.

“Tamir Rice is an absolute example of that,” Loomis said. “There’s this perception that police just slid up in the car and shot him. That’s not reality from the officers’ perception. They acted based on what they knew at the time.”

“Tamir Rice is in the wrong,” he said. “He’s menacing. He’s 5-feet-7, 191 pounds. He wasn’t that little kid you’re seeing in pictures. He’s a 12-year-old in an adult body. Tamir looks to his left and sees a police car. He puts his gun in his waistband. Those people—99 percent of the time those people run away from us. We don’t want him running into the rec center. That could be a whole other set of really bad events. They’re trying to flush him into the field. Frank [the driver] is expecting the kid to run. The circumstances are so fluid and unique. …

“The guy with the gun is not running. He’s walking toward us. He’s squaring off with Cleveland police and he has a gun. Loehmann is thinking, ‘Oh my God, he’s pulling it out of his waistband.’”

Oh my God. Those poor officers! What else could they do? They had to kill that menacing 12-year-old kid in an adult body.

Shame on Tamir Rice for scaring those poor officers. And shame on Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, John Crawford, Eric Garner and Akai Gurley, Jordan Davis for scaring their killers.

So many scary Black guys. So many cops and vigilantes to make them dead and less scary Black guys.

There are times when I have no words. Mostly because those words would be unbelievably angry and profanely foul. All I have is cold, burning rage and the fire that burns would very much like to come down like God’s own wrath on someone like Steve Loomis who embodies everything Black Panther founder Huey P. Newton thought a “pig” was.

“We felt that the police needed a label other that fear image that they carried in the community. So we use the pig as the rather low-lifed animal in order to identify the police. And it worked.”

I never liked calling cops “pigs”. It was too extreme and I believed  it to be too debasing, disrespectful and dehumanized all police officers for the actions of the bad ones.  Yet the more I hear guys like Loomis in Cleveland or Patrick Lynch in New York and all these other leaders of police unions who debase young Black men like Tamir , disrespect young Black men like Tamir, and dehumanize young Black men like Tamir, the less resistant I become to calling cops “pigs.”

If the police do not respect us we should not respect them and where there is no respect, the response will be resistance.

This will not help Tamir Rice, but it might make a few killer cops take an extra second to consider the consequences before they pull the trigger. If justice can’t be found in the courtrooms,  people will go looking for it in the streets.