NYC Policemen’s Benevolent Association needs to STFU and stop killing people

December 14, 2014

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Good morning:

As thousands of people demonstrated in Washington DC, New York, Boston and other cities across the country yesterday against an epidemic of homicides in which police officers have killed unarmed black citizens, the New York City police officers union kicked off a campaign to prevent Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito from attending police funerals.

WTF, you ask?

Patrick Lynch, the head of the NYPD Police Officers Benevolent Association, wants everyone to know that he is really really upset about their lack of support for Officer Pantaleo, the cop who killed Eric Garner with a choke hold. Never mind that Eric Garner was unarmed and had just broken up a fight by separating the combatants. He had to be stopped from selling single cigarettes, or loosies as they are called, don’cha know, because respect for the rule of law would cease to exist if they didn’t, and the terrorists would take over Staten Island and start beheading people. They have to be stopped over there so they don’t kill us over here, or some such nonsense.

Reuters reports that,

The New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association posted a form on its website, for members to sign, that requests that de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito keep away from funeral services should an officer die in the line of duty.

/snip/

The form, entitled “Don’t Insult My Sacrifice”, accused the pair of “consistent refusal to show police officers the support and respect they deserve.”

Meanwhile Mayor deBlasio, who is married to a black woman, is more concerned about the survival and safety of their son than placating whining cops with sweet political nothings praising the incompetent grand jury decision not to indict Pantaleo and declaring that it’s time to move on. He didn’t have time for that bullshit. He had to have the talk that no parent wants to have.

He had to warn his biracial son to be wary of racist cops with guns and bad attitudes or he might end up as yet another name on a long list of innocent unarmed victims murdered by police.

Here’s Reuters again,

In response, de Blasio and Mark-Viverito released a joint statement saying the union’s campaign was divisive.

“Incendiary rhetoric like this serves only to divide the city, and New Yorkers reject these tactics,” local media quoted them as saying in the statement.

Good for them.

I think the NYPD Police Officers Benevolent Association and its members need to STFU and stop killing people.


We need a law establishing a uniform reporting requirement for police killings

November 14, 2014

Friday, November 14, 2914

Good morning:

We need a law that establishes a mandatory uniform classification and reporting requirement for all police killings.

They have increased each of the past three years. The FBI’s Uniform Crime Report for 2013 listed 461 justifiable killings of felony suspects by police. That is the highest number of killings in the past 20 years.

Inspired in part by the Michael Brown killing, USA Today reviewed the FBI’s database of justifiable killings for the past seven years involving a white cop killing a black suspect. They found an average of 96 killings per year.

Whether those killings were truly justifiable or falsely deemed to have been justifiable due to racist thinking and/or to cover-up a murder is impossible to determine due to incomplete record keeping. For example, I was shocked to discover that no law requires the creation and maintenance of a national database of police killings and no law requires police agencies to report killings according to a uniform procedure. Instead, the FBI relies on agencies to voluntarily report their self-described ‘justifiable’ killings.

This situation is intolerable and must be fixed. Congress is going to have to pass a law establishing a uniform classification and reporting system.

We also need a law that establishes independent civilian review boards to investigate and transparently review police killings because police investigating fellow officers is an inherent conflict of interest that cannot reasonably be expected to produce a just result.

Unfortunately, I cannot imagine an evidence averse Republican Congress passing such a law even though it’s desperately needed.


Police version of the shooting of Vonderrit Myers is not credible

October 10, 2014

Friday, October 10, 2014

Good afternoon:

For the following reasons, I do not believe the official police version of the shooting death of Vonderrit Myers.

A police officer cannot stop someone he suspects of committing a crime, unless his suspicion is reasonable. That is, a mere hunch is not sufficient unless it is based on an articulable set of objective facts and circumstances that would cause a reasonable person to suspect that a crime is being committed, was committed or is about to be committed. See: Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968).

Race does not qualify as a reasonable suspicion. An investigative stop based on race alone is racial profiling, a Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment civil rights violation.

An arrest must be supported by probable cause or reasonable grounds to believe that a person committed a crime.

I have yet to hear any justification by the St.Louis Police Department for the officer’s attempt to stop and question Vonderrit Myers and two others other than they were ‘acting suspiciously.’

Acting suspiciously is an opinion, not an articulable objective fact or circumstance.

Therefore, I see a police officer violating the civil rights of Vonderrit Myers and two others that ended when he shot and killed him.

St.Louis Today is reporting,

A shot to the head killed an 18-year-old teenager shot to death Wednesday during an encounter with an off-duty police officer, the medical examiner said Thursday.

Preliminary autopsy results showed that Vonderrit Myers Jr. was shot from six to seven times in the lower extremities, said Dr. Michael Graham. The fatal shot entered the right cheek and was recovered in the body, Graham said.

Sen. Jamilah Nasheed had suggested at a press conference earlier Thursday that the teen had been shot in the back of the head, but the autopsy did not find any gunshots to the back of Myers’ head.

I also have a difficult time believing that the officer waited for Myers to fire three shots, attempt to unjam his gun and fire more shots before he drew his own gun and squeezed off 17 shots.

That sounds like a movie script, not a real-life event.

As I stated in my post yesterday,

Many cops carry difficult-to-trace firearms acquired under questionable circumstances for the sole purpose of throwing them down on people they arrest or kill.

I have yet to hear whether any gunshot residue was found on Meyer’s hands and clothing.

I do not believe the official police version of this shooting, given the attempted unlawful stop, the absence of evidence that any gunshot residue was found on Myers’s hands and clothes, and information from witnesses that Myers was armed with only a sandwich, including the shopkeeper from whom he purchased it a few minutes before the encounter.

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Yet another young black man killed by a cop in St.Louis

October 9, 2014

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Good morning:

More trouble in St.Louis last night.

An off-duty police officer shot and killed an 18-year-old black male in St.Louis last night. According to the police chief, the young man fired 3 shots at the officer during a chase. The officer returned fire squeezing off 17 shots.

A gun was recovered at the scene and a ballistics investigation confirmed that it had been fired three times.

The young man’s family is claiming he was not armed, raising the possibility that the officer might have used a throw-down weapon.*

The shooting is under investigation.

Hopefully, the victim’s hands were bagged at the scene and the ME will check for the presence of gunshot residue on them before washing the body prior to the autopsy.

The gun should be checked for prints.

*Many cops carry difficult-to-trace firearms acquired under questionable circumstances for the sole purpose of throwing them down on people they arrest or kill.

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Open-carry enthusiasts in Ohio protest a police shooting that killed a young black man in a WalMart

October 8, 2014

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Good morning:

In this bizarre country where up is down and down is up, open-carry enthusiasts in Beavercreek, OH demonstrated inside a Walmart against a white police officer for shooting and killing twenty-two-year-old John Crawford III inside the Walmart on August 5th. They openly carried their weapons as they strolled through the store.

Crawford, who is black, was carrying an unloaded toy pellet gun that he apparently intended to purchase when the officer, who responded to a 911 call from a Walmart customer reporting a man with an unboxed AR-15 waving it around and pointing it at people, confronted and shot him to death. A state grand jury refused to indict the officer, however, a federal grand jury is now investigating whether to indict him for violating Crawford’s civil rights.

Raw Story reported on Monday,

About 40 open-carry activists protested the Aug. 5 police shooting of 22-year-old John Crawford III at the Beavercreek retailer after a grand jury declined last month to charge the officer who killed him.

In addition to weapons, the demonstrators carried signs that said “I am John Crawford” and “Serve and Protect. Not Serve to Kill.”

According to attorney Michael Wright, who represents Crawford’s father, he watched a store video that shows Crawford walking around the store with the unpackaged toy rifle that he picked up in the toy department and carrying it in his left hand as he was holding a cell phone to his ear with his while speaking the mother of his two children.

Crawford’s father and Wright said the video showed Crawford carrying the BB gun in his left hand, pointed at the floor, except when he momentarily swung the rifle to his shoulder.

Although there were other shoppers in the store, no one else called 911.

And the killings continue.

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The cops who killed Eric Garner must be prosecuted and sentenced to prison

July 19, 2014

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Good afternoon:

The police officers who placed Eric Garner, 43, in a choke hold and asphyxiated him by sitting on him and ignoring his complaints that he could not breathe should be prosecuted and sentenced to prison for killing him.

They are thugs in uniform.

Violent criminals wearing badges.

NYPD regulations forbid the use of choke holds.

I have written about the dangers of positional asphyxiation.

Choke holds have been banned by most emergency services because they can cause death two ways:

(1) Obstructing the airway and/or

(2) Carotid artery compression cutting off blood to the brain.

Given the emphasis on educating first responders regarding the dangers of positional asphyxiation and the ban on using choke holds, no police officer can credibly claim today that they did not know they were endangering Garner’s life when they placed him in a choke hold and sat on him ignoring his protests that he could not breathe.

If they did not intentionally kill him, they certainly acted with reckless disregard for his life, which is manslaughter.

He was unarmed, peaceful and none of the officers were in any physical danger. They did not have to arrest him. If they were so hot and bothered about him selling untaxed cigarettes, they could have issued him a citation.

But, no. They just had to show him how tough they were, so they killed him.

Not one of them even attempted to resuscitate him.

Unless police departments are looking forward to a future where armed civilians gun them down at will in the streets, every one of them needs to go to prison.

This is our 1143rd post.

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Fred


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