Police who act like members of an occupying army deserve no respect

Monday, December 15, 2014

Good morning:

Police who act like members of an occupying army are a clear and present danger to everyone and deserve no respect. All of them should be fired. We must demilitarize our police departments, subject them to citizen review and require them to engage in community policing in service to the people.

Yesterday, yet another cop made a fool out of himself by complaining about a professional football player who dared to protest two indefensible police killings of unarmed black males. This time it was Jeff Folmer, president of the Cleveland Police Patrolman Union. He complained about Andrew Hawkins, a wide receiver for the Cleveland Browns who wore a shirt over his jersey during the pregame introductions yesterday that said, “Justice for Tamir Rice – John Crawford.”

Tamir Rice is the 12-year-old boy who was playing by himself in a gazebo in a public park waving a toy gun around when two cops in a police vehicle suddenly drove up and stopped on the grass. In no more than two seconds, the cop sitting on the passenger side got out and shot him to death. John Crawford was shopping in a Walmart for a toy to give to his son. After he selected a pellet rifle, a cop shot and killed him. Rice and Crawford were black. The cops who killed them were white. Both were employed by the Cleveland Police Department.

They are not the only rotten apples in the Cleveland Police Department.

Two weeks ago Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Justice Department’s civil rights investigation of Cleveland’s police department found that it had engaged in a “pattern or practice” of unreasonable and unnecessary use of force. CNN reports,

Above a vehicle bay at one of the Cleveland Division of Police’s district stations hangs a sign that reads, “forward operating base,” a term usually used to describe an area of tactical operations in a war zone. The sign sends a message indicative of the community’s opinion of the division, Justice Department officials said.

“This characterization reinforces the view held by some — both inside and outside the Division — that CDP is an occupying force instead of a true partner and resource in the community it serves,” the investigative report said. It’s one illustration, the Justice Department’s report says, that “officer training instills in officers an ‘us-against-them’ mentality.”

As a result of the DOJ’s disturbing findings, the DOJ and the City of Cleveland have signed an agreement “to develop a court-enforceable consent decree that will include a requirement for an independent monitor who will oversee and ensure necessary reforms.”

Despite the CPD’s shocking record of violating civil rights and its acknowledgement that it must change from its occupation-army-in-a-war-zone mentality to a community policing mentality working in partnership with the people it serves rather than ruling them, along comes Jeff Folmer with a gas can and match demanding an apology from Andrew Hawkins and the Cleveland Browns.

In a statement to Cleveland WEWS-Channel 5, CPPU President Jeff Follmer demanded an apolgy from the Browns. Follmer also called Hawkins’ actions pathetic.

“It’s pretty pathetic when athletes think they know the law,” Follmer said. “They should stick to what they know best on the field. The Cleveland Police protect and serve the Browns stadium and the Browns organization owes us an apology.”

Follmer does not get it. The Cleveland Police Department is not an occupation army that gets to kill anyone for any reason anytime it feels like it and literally get away with murder by saying “I thought I saw a gun.”

32 Responses to Police who act like members of an occupying army deserve no respect

  1. roderick2012 says:

    Lawsuit Settled Involving Ferguson Officer Who Allegedly Choked, Hog-Tied A 12-Year-Old

    WASHINGTON — A lawsuit against a Ferguson, Missouri, police officer who allegedly choked and hog-tied a 12-year-old boy in 2010 has been settled on undisclosed terms, court filings show.

    The 2012 lawsuit alleged that Ferguson Police Officer Justin Cosma, who was then serving as a police officer in Jefferson County, Missouri, and his then-colleague Richard Carter approached the shirtless 12-year-old as the boy was checking his mailbox at the end of his driveway.

    “Unprovoked and without cause, the deputies grabbed [the boy], choked him around the neck and threw him to the ground,” the lawsuit, which was filed by the victim’s family, said. The officers allegedly then “hog tied” the young boy, which means they restrained him by tying his hands to his feet. The child, according to the lawsuit, “suffered bruising, choke marks, scrapes and cuts across his body” due to his treatment by the officers, and had to be “transported to a medical facility for medical treatment.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/12/justin-cosma-ferguson-police_n_6316630.html?utm_hp_ref=black-voices&ir=Black%20Voices

  2. PhillyBoyRoy says:

    He also said “if you’re right, let the courts decide.”

    Um but what if you shoot me dead within 2 seconds of figuring out whether I am Good or Bad?

    Wow. Just wow.

  3. YQ says:

    This one hurt. This one kills me more that anything else. She is identified as witness #40.

    http://gawker.com/darren-wilsons-key-witness-was-bipolar-racist-liar-1671681384

    • Malisha says:

      Anybody who defends a racist killer is elevated by “the law” to the position of “expert.” Just so did Frank Taaffe, a drunk and an abuser, become a big poobah by supporting Fogen. Sandra McElroy is a NOTHING and she ascended to what she sees as personal power on the coattails of a “heroic thugslayer” by inserting herself into the “Dollars for Killers” campaign of Five-Year-Old-Pissy-Pants Killson.

      Of course this psycho-liar should be prosecuted. But then…who would prosecute her? The murder-support-team chief prosecutor who suborned her perjurious testimony? The lily-livered “feds” who take endless depositions and then shove their thumbs up their collective butts and rotate?

      Who?

      I remember a victim once telling me, when I suggested that the corrupt politicians involved in her case should be “busted”: “BUST THEM? To who? The guys above them? Every one of them guys above them got there by being worse than the guys below. There’s nobody to bust anybody TO!”

  4. Two sides to a story says:

    Interesting that the far right argues for less government and yet worships police culture. They seem to love the po-po mess that’s going on now, judging by all the troll comments on Twitter and on news reports about police misconduct. It’s rather frightening, and I guess such folks need a taste of their own medicine to understand what’s happening.

  5. Malisha says:

    The high percentage of police who are domestic violence suspects themselves reveals a serious problem in “police culture.” Coercive control is, unfortunately, the paradigm for modern American police work, and this is flat out counterproductive. That “I am the law” attitude is all wrong. Police SHOULD be the “go-to” guys to help minimize crime and to help regulate a complex society in which the potential for violence must be DECREASED across the board. If you have, instead, a dysregulated bunch of armed bullies, “in charge” of anything and everything without a rational basis, you’re casting your own social structure into chaos and there is NO WAY OUT of that.

    Which is, unfortunately, where we are, right now. At a crossroads where the signs read:

    THIS WAY TOWARDS CHAOS:: THAT WAY ROAD CLOSED:: DETOUR:: NO BRAKES

    • MDX says:

      That is horrible.

      Cops seem to have the attitude that any response to orders that is not instantly obeyed “deserves” rough treatment.

      This man clearly lied prostrate face down.

      My guess is that he was face down in sand that had blown over the concrete of the parking lot. So their “barbaric” press the guy into the ground tactics cause broken ribs, ear bleeding and choking to death.

      And the F’ er brags about it.

    • Comment by David Comeaux in the comment section following the article and video to which you linked.

      if i’m minding my own business, not endangering or depriving anyone, and someone attacks me… i have every right to defend myself, by any means necessary, up to and including any actions which may result in the death of the unjustifiable attacker. This includes police, because they are merely humans; they are not gods, and they are not “above” the rest of us. Especially since they voluntarily use lethal force where it cannot be justified by anything resembling a sane mind.

      This is going to start happening and increase as police freak out at the deadly violence they have brought down on themselves.

  6. bronxlady1 says:

    Unfortunately, the “us against them” mentality has entered many professions and on many levels within the professions.

  7. Two sides to a story says:

    We need to turn the heat up on PD across this fair land and keep it on high until all these problems are addressed.

  8. roderick2012 says:

    This is video of police officers trying to manipulate James Crawford’s girlfriend into saying that Crawford had the gun with him when he entered Wal Mart and that he was planning to use it as part of a crime. This was to absolve the cops from murdering Crawford in cold blood.

    For over an hour, police questioned Thomas, 26, who had been taken directly from the shooting to the police station. During the interrogation, Thomas offered to take a lie detector test and eventually ended up swearing on the lives of her family that Crawford did not have a gun when he entered the store, according to The Guardian, which viewed the tape.

    “You lie to me and you might be on your way to jail,” Detective Rodney Curd told Thomas on the recording as she cried. The 94-minute police video was released to The Guardian by “the office of Mike DeWine, the Ohio attorney general, in response to a public records request” made by the newspaper.

    Here’s the clincher:

    “As a result of his actions, he is gone,” Curd finally said to Thomas, almost an hour-and-a-half after the fatal shooting occurred. An already breathless Thomas slumped in her chair and cried, the Guardian reports.

    http://www.theroot.com/articles/culture/2014/12/john_crawford_s_girlfriend_questioned_for_over_an_hour_before_cops_tell.html?wpisrc=topstories

  9. Annie Cabani says:

    Apparently, cops don’t even have to know what the LAW IS when they decide to detain us from our liberty and pursuit of happiness.

    So says the SCOTUS (a/k/a “Court of Police State Enablers”) in today’s Heien v. North Carolina decision, according to The Progressive Pulse, a NC Policy Watch blog:

    The U.S. Supreme Court ruled this morning that a traffic stop is justified if based upon an officer’s reasonable but mistaken belief that a violation has occurred.

    There’s a link to the decision in the blog:
    http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2014/12/15/just-in-us-supreme-court-affirms-nc-supreme-court-in-heien/

    • Yuck! Terrible decision.

      The SCOTUS muddied the reasonable suspicion test today by holding that an officer can lawfully stop a vehicle to investigate based on a mistaken belief that the motorist has violated a traffic law so long as the mistake is reasonable.

      In Heien v. North Carolina, an officer stopped a vehicle that had only one brake light functioning. As he issued a warning citation, he became suspicious and asked for consent to search. He testified that the driver consented. He found cocaine.

      Turns out North Carolina law only requires one functioning brake light, so the officer actually lacked a valid reason to stop the vehicle.

      SCOTUS upheld the stop on the ground that the officer’s mistake about the law was reasonable.

      • Damn near impossible to figure out when a police officer’s mistake about the law is reasonable.

        The rule is probably going to turn out to be anytime he says so.

        Cops are supposed to know the law. Thanks to the SCOTUS, now they can be wrong and still be right.

        Orwellian.

        8-1 decision with Sotomayor the lone dissenter.

        • I suppose they are thinking cops don’t lie and most of them know the criminal laws and traffic violations so it would be a rare case like this one where the ruling would apply.

          Wrong! Now the cops have no incentive to know the laws. They can even make some up and claim they had a good faith belief that such a law existed. They could also continue to enforce laws that have been repealed and deny getting the word.

          Incredibly naive to believe cops don’t lie.

        • Annie Cabani says:

          It’s baffling, too, why they granted certiorari in this particular case. Apparently, the NC Supreme Court had achieved the same result as the SCOTUS, so why didn’t they just leave it alone?

          It’s like they went out of their way to issue this constitutional ruling (and a quick one … only two months) when they didn’t even need to, yet they slam their door on folks who really need to be heard. What’s up with that?

      • Eric says:

        Growing up, I was taught not to eat fruit from a poisonous tree. Did the SCOTUS just declare the “fruit” to no longer be “poisonous” for police?

        • Good question. It has been cut-back to exclude ‘reasonable mistakes about the law’ made in good faith. We will have to wait and see if this exception to the exclusionary rule swallows the rule. It certainly has the potential to eviscerate it because it provides a road map on how to get around it.

  10. MDX says:

    Uh no… Mr Police Officer is a tax payer funded government employee who has a duty to protect and serve all those who live and work in the community regardless of what they may do as individuals.

    Frankly, I would fire Follmer for that remark for the following reasons:

    A) His remark implies that the police will not do their duty due to some sort of political view – which no government employee must ever imply because it taints the presumed objectivity of the agency. It is crossing the line to taking a bribe/

    B) By defending the actions of that incompetent man who shot the 12 year old, I can only assume that Follmer is of equal quality – less than worthless. So in this tough economy, I feel it would be quite easy to replace him with a better officer who can accept his pay check and keep his mouth shut.

    Finally, the acts of Follmer and other like him, are, IMO, not helping the case for the good police officers out there because it cements an image of the entitled prick.

    How about saying your sorry and will try to do better?

  11. a2nite says:

    You don’t have to know the law to say that killing unarmed black males seems to be ok. The police are a threat to black people everywhere.

    If they’re a threat to us who’s next?

    “The law” is wrong for so many reasons, which include a long standing anti- black campaign which includes state sponsored lynching of black men.

    #FTP

  12. bettykath says:

    In a segment on Melissa Harris-Perry she interviewed two participants, one Black Latino, Rev. Shawn Torres and one white, Benjamin Perry from Union Theological Seminary who took part in the protests. Cops arrested Torres. Perry turned with his hands behind him also expecting to be cuffed. Cop whispered to him to “get out of here”. Huh? While in custody, the Torres overheard cops talking about the “real” thugs, those in the Puerto Rican parade.

    http://www.msnbc.com/melissa-harris-perry

    the interview is 13 minutes in.

  13. Police across the nation have abrogated their responsibilities to their communities. They demand, and so far have gotten, the right to abuse and kill citizens with impunity. Black people have always known that police do not necessarily protect and serve; in fact, we have a mantra: “If all else fails, call the police.”

  14. Disappointed says:

    Typos. There and could. Sorry. Lol

  15. Disappointed says:

    Wtf does it matter if the police protect the Browns and their stadium? They are also employed to protect the citizens they gun down. Some people should just shut the f up.

    Their are people who lump everyone in one basket for the crimes of 1. Yet when we generalize the police the same way they shit their pants. Hypocrits. I’m sick of the shootings. It’s always the same defense. He reached, I feared for my life. Coukd you imagine how quickly a innocent person would be charged for using that same defense against a quick draw officer.

    • Bill Taylor says:

      the police dont “protect” anything or anyone….IF they were protecting folks they are failing miserably because there is mucho crime happening to citizens……i cant think of any situation where they protect folks?…….do they stop people from driving wildly causing wrecks? do they stop criminals from robbing a business?

      • Annie Cabani says:

        Unfortunately, cops DO stop people for traffic violations and detain them because the driver is perceived as “hysterical” … even when the car passenger is on the verge of respiratory arrest and just three miles from the ER (their destination).

        Of course, that’s NOT to say the cop “protected” the people. To the contrary, the asthmatic passenger was essentially DOA at the ER, due to the cop’s delaying them for about nine minutes.

        Oh, yeah … then they let the supposedly “hysterical” driver follow the ambulance in her car, after all. They just had to make her wait long enough that she couldn’t get her partner to the hospital in time to save his life.

        Nine minutes is an ETERNITY during a severe asthma attack.

        Xena wrote about the incident and posted the dashboard video on her blog: https://blackbutterfly7.wordpress.com/2014/12/14/he-cant-breath-casey-kressin-retained-by-police-on-way-to-the-hospital-dies/

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