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Misterbadexample On July - 22 - 2014
Warning sign for police brutality.

Warning sign for police brutality. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As if there weren’t enough to keep track of over the past week, New Yorkers were treated to heavy rotation of a shocking video showing what appears to be wanton, naked police brutality. Eric Garner, a 43 year old father and resident of Staten Island, NY, who thought he was a hero for breaking up a fistfight a few minutes earlier, was cornered by NYPD and accused of selling bootleg cigarettes. What happened next is linked on the above video–the police wanted to arrest and handcuff Garner, who refused. The next step was multiple cops working to ‘subdue’ him, including getting him in a chokehold and keeping him in one after he said ‘I can’t breathe’ more than a few times.

The New York Daily News spoke to Ramsey Orta, who shot the video, and another witness:

“They jumped him and they were choking him. He was foaming at the mouth,” Orta told The News. “And that’s it, he was done. The cops were saying, ‘No, he’s OK, he’s OK.” He wasn’t OK.”

He died right there.

Speaking of the New York Daily News–this is a paper that appeals to the city’s ‘lunch-box’ constituency, or what’s left of it. It has always pitched to working-class people who bought it because (unlike the Times) you could unfold it easily and read it on your morning subway commute. Like most other media outlets, the News was nearly always on Former Mayor Bloomberg’s side (a separate issue), and had no tolerance for anyone calling out the police for brutality. But late last week, the Daily News made space on their opinion page for calling out the NYPD for its pattern of racism and its overreaction to minor crime. This of course was the reason for widespread protests against the ‘Stop and Frisk’ policy, which mainly targeted young men of color, something that lots of local media did not notice during the Bloomberg days.

Similar cases in recent memory have fallen through the cracks–there was no great roiling anger over the police shooting of 16 year old Kimani Gray last year, and the case mostly disappeared from the headlines in a few days.  There was a similar lack of widespread outrage over the killing of Ramarley Graham, another black teenager who died in a hail of police bullets last August. A police officer was indicted, but there seemed to be profound reluctance on the part of the DA to push the case.

But now there’s Eric Garner, lauded as a ‘gentle giant‘, and many of us who’ve seen the video think it’s worse than the video of the Rodney King beating case that roiled Los Angeles for the better part of two years. Nobody has offered a defense of the officers’ actions in the application of a choke-hold on an individual that was not threatening police, and as I write this, the officer at the center of the case has been relieved of his badge and weapon pending an investigation. By the way, holding someone in a choke-hold is a violation of NYPD policy.

A couple years ago, I was wondering when, if ever, the Occupy Wall Street movement would ever have a police confrontation that was a ‘Bull Connor’ moment. Alabama’s own Bull Connor, a name from the past that many of my generation will remember, became the story during the fight for voting rights in Alabama. Connor gained his notoriety in 1963 during the Civil Rights era, when he had his policemen train firehoses on peaceful demonstrators trying to register to vote. After the hoses were turned off, the attack dogs were released. The scenes (broadcast on most national television networks) were so graphic that they had a major effect on public opinion–JFK was reportedly so outraged by what he saw that he set to work on what would be the Civil Rights Act. Occupy never saw such public outrage at police brutality–the numerous pepper-spray incidents never awakened consciences anywhere, and it would be hard to sway President Obama to outrage since his administration was helping to coordinate a national response to the Occupy movement. Anybody who’s been on the wrong end of an NYPD baton can tell you that the police don’t obey the laws and act with impunity. But this isn’t about rogue cops–the few off-duty police I’ve met are very conscious of the fact that following all the rules leads to a really fat pension, and they won’t take chances on being fired by violating the rules from above. Someone at the top of the NYPD either encouraged brutal behavior or looked the other way too often when made aware of it. And even though this brutality is largely the result of 20 years of the NYPD getting a free hand in their operations under the two preceding mayors, it will fall on Bill De Blasio’s desk. And it will remind people of why there were protests when De Blasio first named Bill Bratton as his Police Commissioner.

In certain ways,  NY has gone full circle from the outrage during the 1960’s, when police misconduct against communities of color (combined with poverty and widespread inner-city unemployment) spawned riots during the 1960’s in places like Watts and Detroit. This story will amplify the many voices raised about police brutality throughout the US. Thanks to the rise of the smart phone camera and ubiquitous security cameras, there’s virtually no police misconduct that can go un-observed. And there’s plenty of video and plenty of outrage.


97 Responses so far.

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  1. VegasBabe says:

    Monicaangela and Miles Long…looks like I missed the boat on this insightful article but have as usual genuinely enjoyed your comments and they are appreciated. Thank you both for demonstrating what i might have written were this subject not one that infuriates me to the extent it does.

    • Miles Long says:

      I have the same type of anger (really rage), but somehow I have managed to channel it much more constructively than when I was a very young man…

      Miles “Kindred Spirit” Long

  2. Pete Geller says:

    The so called ‘War on Drugs’ and ‘War on Terrorism’ are nothing more than self perpetuating profit machines that enforce ‘control’ on the people at the expense of lives and rights. The two other incidents involving choke holds, after NYC proclaimed they would ‘retrain’ the entire department, show the system is broken. What I find shameful is how the MSM only seems to report on the abuse in NYC. People and pets are being killed almost daily across the country due to abuse from law enforcement…

  3. Miles Long says:

    The Daily Show strikes again:


    Miles “It Ain’t Just Me” Long

  4. Miles Long says:

    Gee, coincidence, or systemic, nay institutional. You be the judge:


    A New York City police officer allegedly placed a 27-year-old pregnant woman in a chokehold Saturday after she was accused of illegally grilling in East New York, Brooklyn. The incident was captured on camera.

    Photos first published by the New York Daily News appear to show an unidentified member of the New York City Police Department wrapping his arms around Rosan Miller’s neck and upper torso as her daughter watches nearby. Miller was uninjured but was given a summons for disorderly conduct, the outlet reported.

    Miles “And The ‘Beat’ Goes On” Long

  5. monicaangela says:

    Some don’t want to learn the history of this nation, others like to ignore it, but the facts are there for all to see. This incident involving the late Mr. Garner, may he rest in peace, is not just a haphazard incident, this is systematic.

  6. Miles Long says:

    Gee, already? This is what’s called a SYSTEMIC problem:

    NYPD Accused Of Using Chokehold On Suspected Farebeater Ronald Johns


    Several videos posted online appear to show a New York City police officer using a chokehold on a suspected farebeater in an incident that took place just days before Staten Island resident Eric Garner died during a similar arrest last week.

    Ronald Johns, 22, was arrested for allegedly sneaking through the emergency exit at a subway station, the New York Daily News reports.

    Internal Affairs is reportedly investigating the incident. The two officers say they were injured and are on medical leave, according to CBS New York.

    Two of the videos were posted on Facebook by minister and activist Kelmy Rodriquez, who says he is looking for witnesses:

    “I am looking for witnesses to this incident which occurred this past Monday, July 14, 2014 at approximately 3:00 p.m. This took place at the 116 Street and Lexington Avenue train station. Please inbox me….”
    Part 1

    In the clip, Johns appears to resist arrest after the officers detained him. Police say he “flailed his arms and twisted his body to prevent Officer [Colin] McGuire from putting handcuffs on him,” according to a criminal complaint cited by DNAInfo. Police say Johns also refused to show identification.

    A second clip shows Johns being cuffed, and there is blood on the ground. His face is glistening, apparently from pepper spray, and he seems to have difficulty opening his eyes:

    Kelmy Rodriquez, Minister
    Public Figure · 1,363 Likes
    · July 18 at 10:14pm ·

    I am looking for witnesses to this incident which occurred this past Monday, July 14, 2014 at approximately 3:00 p.m. This took place at the 116 Street and Lexington Avenue train station. Please inbox me….

    In the videos, bystanders can be heard complaining about Johns’ treatment.

    “He was standing here. That’s fucked up,” one woman says. “Fucked up. That’s fucked up.”

    “Stop punching him!” a man shouts.

    Rodriquez says the incident took place at the 116 Street and Lexington Avenue train station on July 14 at about 3 p.m. Johns was later charged with turnstyle jumping, resisting arrest and trespassing. He was released without bail and is scheduled to face the charges in court in September.

    In another incident that was caught on video, Garner, 43, died on July 17 after being placed in an apparent chokehold by a police officer. The medical examiner has not yet determined the cause of death. Police say the 350-pound man was selling untaxed cigarettes.

    Chokeholds have been banned since 1993 under NYPD rules, but from 2009 through 2013 there were 1,022 complaints about their use brought before the Civilian Complaint Review Board, The New York Times reports.

    (h/t New York Daily News)

  7. monicaangela says:

    This conversation is to say the least eye opening for me. The actual topic of the conversation as always when talking about the plight of minorities in this country has become a topic, not so much about the demise of Mr. Garner, but a topic of more or less what I see as an explanation as to why this country will never come together if we do not seek to educate ourselves.

    I consider myself African American, because that is what the society in this nation and around the world allows me to consider myself being. To tell the truth, I can trace part of my history back to the beginning of this nation, some of my ancestors were the aboriginals of this nation. My history also goes to Europe where some of my people, my father and my grandmothers people originate. My father from Spain, and my grandmother from Germany. My grandfather on my father’s side from Africa, my grandmother on my father’s side from Spain but of German descent. My grandfather on my mother’s side a Native American, my grandmother on my mother’s side half Asian (India) and half African American, which is what she was considered even though her parents were African and French.

    Get it? I could continue my family line and probably when I get to generation X in my family would have included every major nation on earth. These classifications we place upon each other because of skin color, or environment, or economic situation is part of the game being played by those who really could care less if you are white, black, red, orange, yellow, brown, or any color of the rainbow. Divide and conquer is their game, and from reading this thread I can see exactly why they are winning.

    I only hope some day human beings will realize we are just that, human beings, nothing more, nothing less. The only division I see between human beings is that of gender, and that has its purpose. That purpose is not so that one gender can dominate the other, but is IMHO so that both genders and variations of the two major genders can continue to through cooperation survive and thrive. Those in control, those in power have even learned to use those differences to their advantage.

    I believe that if we as human beings don’t learn to understand each other we are in a hopeless situation. If we continue to jump to conclusions every time we read a sentence or hear an explanation that is different than what we can comprehend we should seek explanation rather than immediately become judgmental. When we feel as though someone is casting aspersions and immediately jump to our own conclusion regarding what in our mind is an attack, the world is lost and those who know how to capitalize upon the mistrust and deceit continue to win by division.

    I truly hope that the community here at PlanetPOV can discuss issues regarding race with an open mind. I hope we will learn to say why do you feel that way rather than I see you feel a certain way and I know why.

    I believe we should all return to the topic of Mr. Garner and the brutal assault upon his person that culminated in his death. I believe we should be discussing why he was assaulted the way he was and not be verbally assaulting each other or casting aspersions upon each other and trying to surmise without knowledge why we think the way we do or what the meaning is of a phrase we or someone else on the thread might use. I believe if we would all learn the true history of this nation, we would be better prepared to deal with and understand each other. The information is out there for those who are willing to seek it. Those who do not wish to know or believe the truth are doomed to be the servants of those who do.

    • Very well said Monica. Personally, I have said about as much as I can about Mr Garner’s tragic killing. To me the video says it all. The man broke up a fight (how terrible) and afterward was standing around minding his own business, when the cops confronted and attempted to arrest him (without much cause it seems) and ended up killing him by use of excessive force. The video clearly shows this. I don’t think there any real mitigating circumstances here. Mr. Garner resisted arrest, but did they have to subdue him the way they did? Why didn’t they just give him a court appearance ticket and leave it at that? If they felt he just had to be taken in, why didn’t they just taze him and cuff him. I think the NYPD wants people to fear them. They want to be feared, because they themselves are fearful.

      As to my heritage, I always say I’m a Heinz 57. A little bit of this, a little bit of that, and so on. 😉 It’s really not that important to me.

      • monicaangela says:

        Exactly KT, the video says it all. I’m still amazed when some can’t seem to see that. I have had my say regarding the incident also, and do hope that we receive swift justice for the family of Mr. Garner. As for your Heinz 57 comment. LOL !! I believe we are all in the same bottle with you. Some just don’t like to believe it. I guess what you don’t know about your heritage can’t hurt you. I personally take pride in mine as does the rest of my family. :)

        I believe when talking about topics like race, or so many different topics that deal with race/religion/gender issues cease to be like stepping on the third rail in a subway station, it will be time to stop discussing those topics. It appears that those who refuse to educate themselves regarding these subjects, will always view them as third rail issues. For me, the more we talk about these things the better understanding we should get. I see the problem here as too many would rather look the other way, and while admitting these problems exist, take the same attitude the Germans took when Hitler was committing the horrible acts he committed, or when so many others committed the horrible acts they committed and are committing. How does the old saying go:

        First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out--
        Because I was not a Socialist.

        Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out--
        Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

        Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out--
        Because I was not a Jew.

        Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me.

        It is time for the citizens of the world to wake up and realize you can’t turn your back on your fellow man, because your fellow man, like everything else in this world is a part of you.

  8. Miles Long says:

    Okay, see what happened here? {chuckle}

    Here at PlanetPOV we have a very good illustration of the differences in perception of America, divided by race.

    Everything I stated, from the perspective of a half-Black, half-Japanese lesbian living in a man’s body (wait until we hit our stride in sexual politics), was factual and true, backed up by more studies than all of us can shake a stick at.

    But let’s take the big one, the most contentious assertion I made: Silence gives consent.

    Here’s the ugly truth about this country we live in (you foreigners are exempted for now), whites and non-whites have completely different experiences in the United States, regardless of where they live.

    Because of this vastly different experience, events that take place in this country are judged differently depending on one’s skin color.

    Since most whites will NEVER, get that, NEVER experience the slights, the insults and the violence that are the everyday occurrence, nay, the expectation of non-whites…well, except for Asians, perhaps, how the hell will they ever see what non-whites see.

    Please reread that statement again, what whites believe about this country is a fantasy to non-whites, a wish upon a star, a beautiful acid trip, an unending orgasm compared to the life of an average Black man, for instance. There are exceptions.

    For example, when white folks follow Michael Jordon around a store, they’re looking for that fat commission. For Oprah, except in high-end Swiss purse stores, the experience is a glorious shopping excursion that I can only imagine.

    But we all see EVERYTHING differently, f-ing get over it. Instead of getting your nose out of joint, try to understand why I say what I do. I’ve been forced to understand whites and their perspective ALL MY LIFE in order to get along in this society; walk a few yards in my shoes for a change.

    To me police brutality, as an extension of a racist America, is a matter of same shit, different day. To a white man it’s “well he must have had it coming.”

    Do you get it? There’s never a reason for killing an unarmed man, especially one so easily subdued, except when he’s Black in America.

    So you don’t like me saying that wearing blinders about systematic, racist police brutality gives consent, well it does.

    That would be like me assuming that with EVERY rape of a woman or a man that “they must have had it coming, look how they were dressed” or something equally heinous.

    Do you get now why to even suggest that the killing of an unarmed Black man could have been justified is as angering and ugly as it is to other Blacks, or in this case, me? WTF?

    Does anyone here really believe that their world view is perfect?

    Hell, I don’t believe that of myself, I will be the first to admit that I know absolutely NOTHING about the Polka, Country Western music, polyester, mayonnaise or boiled ribs.

    Miles “Argue The Issue, Not The Symptoms” Long

    • sillylittleme says:

      Not entirely true Miles, I had a run-in with a statie that didn’t like the fact that the cuffs he put on my wrists fell off when I lifted my hands. Even though I have 2.25 inch wrists, it didn’t occur to him that they would slip. I was in the back of the police car when he dragged me out, shook me around for a bit and then reattached the cuffs until they cut off circulation. I am white, female and about half the size of the very large, Haitian-American cop. He didn’t like my asking him why he wasn’t in Haiti to help rebuild after the tsunami. I had several friends that had gone and I had sent a donation myself. This was in 2010. I was accused of telling him to go back to Africa and had to stand in a courtroom and be declared a bigot by the AG’s office. My court appointed attorney was a good old boy who didn’t dispute what the AG’s attorney stated, even though I had told him the facts of the event. Lesson learned. Never speak to a cop, for any reason. And this took place in MA.

      We have miles to go before we sleep (no pun intended).

      • kesmarn says:

        I hear you, SLM. “Never speak to a cop for any reason.” Or for that matter — to his daughter!

        I happened to get on the wrong side of the daughter of one of those sheriff’s deputies who served under the crooked sheriff I mentioned in my original comment on this thread. (The one who was indicted by the Feds for covering up a jail house murder.)

        She saw to it that I was followed, harassed and (at least attempts made to make me feel) intimidated for weeks. It wasn’t hard for her dad to get a lot of his friends in the department to play along.

        It wasn’t until I started video-recording everything that it finally stopped. And even then, one of them lied and told me to put the camera down because what I was doing was illegal. When I answered back that I knew it was not, he dropped the matter.

        I know people of all colors --quite a number of them white — who’ve had similar experiences. Yes, being a person of color does tend to make encounters like this more likely, I know.

        But the common thread in many cases is daring to look them in the eye and defend yourself. (Which the unfortunate Mr. Garner did.) You and I both obviously pushed somebody’s bully-buttons too. We were just lucky that in our cases it didn’t turn out to be a capital offense.

        Here’s a little article that appeared in a local paper about a middle-class community that’s almost entirely white. The problem: incompetent bullies on the police force.


        Doesn’t mean that large urban centers get a pass, or that what goes on there is okay. But there’s a broader problem with the police work culture that needs to be addressed. And if we each insist that our fellow citizens have not a clue about what the situation is really like, we’re going to have a hard time addressing it.

        I think the problem is institutional almost across the board and rarely situational, to be frank. Underneath the surface, this may have less to do with race than it does with class.

        As “mouthy” 😉 middle class white women we were fair game. People of color are fair game. Poor whites are fair game. Guess what demographic really is immune for the most part from police brutality?

        Massively rich people.

        • sillylittleme says:

          Yes, especially those with a nice enough car and a trunk full of recycle bags for when I go shopping. Ironically he didn’t find the pot in the center console, nor did the tow company. It still cost me my dignity and a bit of coin,

          • kesmarn says:

            😆 That’s funny about the weed, SLM!

            At some point, maybe you’ll tell us why you were handcuffed in the first place, but that’s entirely up to you!


            • sillylittleme says:

              I’m still trying to figure that out. I was handing him my license and registration when he decided to escalate our conversation. Never speak to them, unless spoken to!!!!!!

      • Miles Long says:

        I sympathize with your experience, but for the sake of the original topic, your experience is irrelevant in the broader context.

        You horrible experience was situational, not institutional and systemic compared to that of Black people in particular and non-whites in general.

        I believe we can all agree that you will NEVER be subjected to a deadly choke hold as a matter of course.

        This is where most everyone here is pissed at me, I characterize their experiences as irrelevant to the discussion; something deeply visceral to them is discounted by me because the acts were incidental, not a matter of law enforcement policy and institutionalized, woven into the very fabric of our culture.

        And, most here obviously felt that I was attacking whites out of hand. What was patently obvious to me was the fact that nearly all whites have no knowledge or understanding how non-whites experience America, and that experience is so different from that of whites that perspectives simply don’t overlap.

        I would be quite willing to discuss the militarization of America’s police departments, or that those same organizations feel less and less compelled to serve and protect, but that was NOT the issue that the original article posed.

        Instead of the article providing the opportunity for a teachable moment in culture, society, race-based issues and what the historical basis for how we got where we are, in too many cases people’s feelings got hurt and we ended up where we are now.

        As I look at ALL the posts here there is a clear divide of perspective along racial lines…that is unfortunate, but it is proof of my original thesis.

        Miles “Where Do We Go From Here?” Long

        • sillylittleme says:

          I live in a mostly black and hispanic neighborhood. So I have tangential understanding of how cops in general treat people of color (I really hate that term, please don’t take offense). I read the comments. And I can empathize with what you are saying, and no I will never experience what must be daily humiliation for too many. I just told you my story, so that you could understand that it happens (albeit infrequently) to whites. I wish I knew what we could do to change the culture of hate that our country has never quite been able to shake off.

          You have to understand how proud the attorney was for pointing to a never-before-arrested-and-not-too-many-speeding-tickets white American who is on record in court as being labeled a bigot. It was the source of amusement for my many friends (especially the purple polka dotted ones ;=}) who call me a bleeding heart.

          The only thing I can hope is that the universe is watching and those that wrong you get what they deserve. Although a little respect for our fellow humans would go a long way to easing all of our pain/anger/shame…

    • AdLib says:

      Miles, I understand and appreciate the point you’re making.

      My perspective is that, though some people haven’t walked in the identical shoes of other people, as white people haven’t personally experienced what it’s like to have grown up as an African American in this country, there are many who are AA and can effectively express what they’ve experienced and many white people who are empathetic enough to be able to imagine themselves in those circumstances. Perhaps a woman will draw on her experience having to deal with chauvinism in her life to relate to someone else who grew up around prejudice, maybe someone who is Jewish and experienced antisemitism in their lives can use that to connect with such things.

      Human beings are capable of great empathy, not all human beings but many. Though they may not be able to put themselves 100% in the shoes of another, they can comprehend in a meaningful way, what another person has had to deal with.

      I do agree with you that some white people walk around thinking they know what black people think and will never accept that they are completely wrong. It’s like that invisible racism I mentioned in a previous comment, surrounded by like minded people can make prejudiced or racially ignorant people believe they “get” what black people have gone through or how they think and could never be convinced otherwise. All around them affirm they’re right, how could they be wrong?

      In any case, it is the case that we need to always keep ourselves open to accepting that no matter how much we think we know how other individuals think, we could be wrong and need to be as sensitive and empathetic as we can be if we truly seek to understand those people who have lived very different lives.

    • Miles, we in America don’t have COMPLETELY different experiences. Yes, we DO have different experiences, but we all have very similar experiences too. We are all human beings and face the day to day problems of being human.

      I know that black Americans face difficulties and prejudices that most whites don’t, but that is not the totality of either’s experience.

      I have been the victim of prejudice by blacks that hate white people. I have been attacked and beaten by blacks just for being white. Do I blame all black people? No, of course not. Do I hate all black people? Of course not, I don’t even hate those that attacked and beat me. I understand the rage they felt toward white people. I have no doubt that those very same people probably feel quite different today, as they’ve matured.

      I agree there is a serious problem with how our white police treat non-whites. The problem needs some serious attention and solutions must be found.

      Until we all start seeing each other as human beings, without regard to pigmentation, we will continue to have these problems, not only with the cops, but among each other as well.

      I have simply refused to play the race game. I see all people as human beings. I think the Golden Rule is very much underrated.

      • Miles Long says:

        Okay, you tossed it up there, let me put it away:

        Your experiences are not the same as a Black man’s at all. Your conflicts were situational, a Black man’s are systemic.

        Yeah, that thing about seeing each other as people is fine on the one-on-one level, but the system is designed to foment mistrust, distrust, suspicion and violence between the races here in America.

        It’s being driven today by whites’ fear of becoming a minority in the coming 2040s. The majority of whites in this country are terrified that when Hispanics become the numerically dominate race in this country they will be treated in the exact same manner as they treated minorities throughout America’s history.

        So, back to you. What you experienced is NOT part of America’s culture; not woven into the fabric of our law enforcement system; you cannot be killed with impunity by a Black man using the cover of Stand Your Ground laws.

        You will NEVER be pulled over and illegally searched for Driving While White, there’s no such f-ing thing.

        I had to cuss out a suburban cop in Chicago’s North Shore when he drove up and harassed a Black man filling up the tank of his Escalade pulling a $150,000 boat behind it…not even driving.

        Your experiences are no where comparable to those of the average Black man no matter how many ass whippings you have received by non-whites.

        Your woes are situational, not institutional, and that’s where the proverbial rubber meets the road.

        The fact that you see everyone as persons not categorized as members of a particular race, sect or what-have-you is laudable…but statistically, you’re in the minority.

        So from now on, when I lump whites into a statistical Venn Diagram, you’re officially in that sliver where the color-blind live.

        Miles “Always Playing The Odds” Long

        • Miles, I wasn’t saying that blacks and whites always have the same experiences. I fully acknowledged that blacks are treated badly by our justice system. I would never say otherwise.

          I said as human beings we all have shared experiences. We all experience love, hatred, joy, sorrow, jealousy, depression, elation, hunger, horniness, rejection, fulfillment…..etc. We work, play, worry, have families, aunts, uncles, children, grandparents…etc.

          My point is that there is never a total difference between people of different races.

          Starting my freshman year in high school, I’ve had classes with black people, studied with black people, was in the marching and concert bands with black people, always about 50% black and 50% white. When I was in the military, I served side by side with black people. When I got out, I held jobs and worked side by side with black people.

          I get the impression that you may think I am new to the troubles black people face. Not at all my friend. I’m 60 years old and have been around the block, more than a few times. Have I personally faced the same problems. No, I am not a black man. I have faced similar problems when I was a bit more radical, with long hair and a beard and shared a strong dislike of police and government.

          If the system cannot be color blind, we the people most certainly can be, and must be. Many of those in power would love to keep us divided. They sneak off with the wealth while we’re at each other’s throats.

    • kesmarn says:

      I don’t really feel that anyone here is arguing that his/her world view is perfect, or that you’re not entitled to your own opinion or feelings, Miles.

      I think that where the ground gets a little shaky is when any of us starts assuming that we know what other peoples’ opinions or feelings are without having spent a lot of time with them.

      As a woman I could argue that no man will ever truly understand what it’s like to walk through life as a woman. That I have had to spend a life time adjusting to and trying to understand what it is to live in a “man’s world.”

      And there could be a fair amount of justification for that, I suppose.

      But I don’t think that all men are alike. I think there are men who have quite a good understanding of the complexities of being female in a male-oriented/dominated world. And I appreciate them very much.

      And there are also men who are insensitive and not only don’t get it — they don’t want to get it. In fact, they see themselves as the perpetual victims in every situation and are full of rage.

      Those two groups of men are as different from each other as men are from women. Or Muslims are from Christians. Or gay people from straight. Or liberals from conservatives.

      In short, there are many ways to be tribal. And I think being tribal is a temptation that we really have to resist. I know it’s a cliche, but each and every one of us is a completely unique human.

      In other words: every single human on the planet could legitimately say “You have no idea what it’s like to be me.”

      But it doesn’t necessarily follow that one human can’t empathize with another. I’m not in Gaza right now. But I think I can imagine pretty clearly what it must be like to be there.

      In a way, to say in effect: “You’ll just never get it, so bugger off,” is a way of giving up. It’s important to keep the lines of communication open — as we try to do here. Even though there will inevitably be misunderstandings.

      Women have often been on the receiving end of police brutality — if only because their smaller size makes it easier to slap them around. And it’s an issue that needs to be taken very seriously. But there are also good cops too who respect and protect women. Both situations exist — side by side.

      It’s maddeningly complex. It’s hard stuff. But if our default position is outrage, we’re handicapped from the start.

      • Ah, that’s my Homie! 😉

      • Kalima says:

        Brilliant comment, kes. As a woman living in a country full of macho men on steroids, I applaud you. As the only “foreigner” on this thread to voice an opinion and probably knowing more about what is going on in your country than many Americans, I applaud you too. The assumption that because we are living in another country we are blind, deaf and numb to the sufferings of others around the world is misplaced and widely off the mark. Assuming the same of our membership here is just wrong.

        Thanks again for your comment filled with compassion and understanding, my faith is now restored.

      • Miles Long says:

        I’ll only dispute one thing you mentioned:

        “I think that where the ground gets a little shaky is when any of us starts assuming that we know what other peoples’ opinions or feelings are without having spent a lot of time with them.”

        I can very well judge one’s opinions and feelings based entirely on their posts here.

        Miles “Unless One Is A Troll” Long

        • Miles, that’s a pretty bold claim. I don’t think anyone here or elsewhere has that total capacity.

          • Kalima says:

            They don’t KT. What most people write is an opinion on any given issue, and says little about who they really are or what they think about everything. Some people hold back, some become more flamboyant when they are anonymous. The most I can say about you is that you live in Ohio, love your daughter and your mother, have very strong feelings about religion, hate RW lunatics, love poetry and have written some great poems too, and have great taste in music. To dig any deeper I would have to hear your voice, see your face to watch facial expressions, and talk to you for more than just a day.

            Now if one thinks they are God, maybe a few comments on one issue might be enough for them to know all about us, but I see no God here, do you? 😉

          • Miles Long says:

            Sorry, KT, but I have to disagree with you.

            What people post here, barring a personal relationship with said poster, is ALL I have to go on in determining their opinion, their feelings and their intellectual intent in written discourse.

            Every single one of us does it…

            Miles “Think About It” Long

            • Miles Long says:

              KT, no where did I say that any single comment provides a total insight into any person, what I said is that it’s the ONLY information available.

              As such, it’s the only information anyone has from which to judge.

              Look how everyone has judged me by my posts here.

              I expect just that to occur, that’s why I choose my words very carefully, even to the point of partly making a living from my writing; I fully expect to be judged by my writing until you (or anyone else) and I get together over a meal and libations.

              Every word posted here is a reflection of the person who wrote it.

              A complete profile, obviously not, indicative of their thoughts, opinions, feelings and intellect, absolutely…

              Miles “Peek-a-boo” Long

            • Well, I think comments don’t provide the total insight that you claim.

        • kesmarn says:

          I’ll have to stay with my original statement, Miles. Without seeing facial expression, hearing vocal nuance or knowing a life history over time, all I have to go on is words on a screen. That’s seldom enough for me to judge on.

  9. Nirek says:

    To all my friends here, I want you to know that I am not a racist. I am disgusted with racist people especially cops. My point is just that we see a video (disgusting and vile) is not a complete video of the entire ordeal. From what I have read the victim was accused of selling cigarettes. If that is true and I have little doubt that it is, then what we saw was way over the top. The policeman who was choking Mr. Garner was wrong and should be held accountable. The others seemed to me to be out of line for the offense Mr. Garner was accused of.
    They were wrong and he is dead. It is sad, wrong, and unfortunate at a best.
    I’ll leave it there.

    • Miles Long says:

      I agree, and for the record, I did NOT call you a racist as someone has already intimated.

      But my problem comes with any of us having any notion that the police officer had any justification whatsoever in killing an unarmed man.

      To believe that such exists is to anger and sadden me that reasonable people would believe that killing was the only response that the officer had at his disposal.

      And, as a Black man, well half, I see this kind of killing ALL THE TIME, so I ask some indulgence for my completely different perspective of the events than many here.

      Miles “Bottom Line” Long

      • Nirek says:

        Miles,if you have read all my posts you know I grew up an army brat. I also served my two years in the army. Those 21 years of my life taught me to be color blind when it comes to race. The army in my lifetime has been integrated. I grew up with blacks, Japanese Americans, brown people from Central America and Europeans and Koreans and I even had Syrian friends . To me we are all human!

        I don’t know where you get the idea that I thought the police had any justification for choking Mr. Garner. I never said that and it is the furthest thing from my mind.
        Regards from a friend, Nirek

        PS, I am against killing . It is not the best way to solve problems.

      • Kalima says:

        Had you read my other comments and check the time stamp now, you would see that I changed the word “racist” to “those who condone it or look the other way”, in my reply to monicaangela.

        monicaangela says:
        07/23/2014 at 2:50 PM (Edit)
        I have also been here reading and haven’t read yet where anyone called Nirek a racist..where did you read that?

        Report comment

        Kalima says:
        07/23/2014 at 2:58 PM (Edit)
        It doesn’t have to be in black and white, monicaangela, the accusation is there, and this was not directed at you personally.

        I will replace the word “racist” with the words “people who condone it or look the other way”. Neither of which apply to Nirek in this case.

    • kesmarn says:

      Nirek, those of us who know you know that you are not a racist.

      And I guess I too will leave it there.


    • Kalima says:

      Hi Nirek, forgive me for jumping in but I thought that you had gone for the night. I do know that you can speak for yourself, and do just that.

  10. MurphTheSurf3 says:

    Whatever happened to Serve and Protect as the ideal?

    There are a dozen episodes like this currently before the public. Perhaps there is more to THIS incident or to some of the other incidents than is currently in evidence- but, as a whole these kind of events point to a disturbing pattern….

    A mentally ill old woman pummeled by burly officer on the shoulder of a highway; a homeless man shot for not obeying officer instructions 150 feet away; a group of boy scout manhandled for taking photos of border guards; etc. etc.

    What is to be done?

    1) Far too many in uniform are power hungry individuals who get off on having too much power, which leads into them abusing the powers they get when they become a Police officer. Weed out these people in the recruiting process is a good start. Training that emphasizes alternative to violence. Evaluation that reinforces proper conduct in this.

    2) There needs to be real accountability. I guarantee there would be a lot less Police misconduct if Police officers had to face real consequences and had to pay large fines.Someone needs to Police the Police.Internal review boards protect police far more than they protect citizens. Prosecutors do the same. Courts, in law suits, are a bit more fair in this.

    3) STOP GIVING THEM MORE POWER! The militarization of Police has to stop. Giving an out of control system more power has so much potential to be a disaster. Yes, in rare cases it could help, but most of this military equipment doesn’t belong in the hands of Police, who are already known to abuse their powers. Patrol officer look like SWAT team members in terms of their gear, and their weapons.

    Here’s a statistic that should get you thinking: 4489 U.S. soldiers were killed in the Iraq war. The number of Americans killed by Police in the last decade is over 5000.

    • Who will stand guard, against the guards?

      • MurphTheSurf3 says:

        Quis custodiet ipsos custodes

        Surprisingly within Juvenal’s poem from the Satires (Satire VI, lines 347–8), it refers to the impossibility of enforcing moral behavior on women when the enforcers (custodes) are corruptible.

        By the 17th century it was being applied to concepts such as tyrannical governments, uncontrollably oppressive dictatorships, and police or judicial corruption and overreach

      • monicaangela says:

        Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? :)

        But Who Will Guard the Guardians?

        Contrary to what one might have guessed, in posing the famous question, Juvenal was not concerned with affairs of state or politics, but rather trying to convince a friend that marriage is folly, women are not to be trusted, and keeping them locked under guard
        is not a solution—because the guards could not be trusted either.

        But, half a millennium or so earlier, Plato did raise a closely related issue in discussing standards of behavior appropriate for the guardians of the city-state, the best of whom were to be chosen as rulers, thus in the context of ideal structure of governance.

        Socrates, referring to an earlier statement that “drunkenness is most unbefitting guardians,” says: “From intoxication we said that they must abstain. For a guardian is surely the last person in the world to whom it is allowable to get drunk and not know where on earth he is.” To which Glaucon, Socrates’ interlocutor, replies: “Yes, it would be absurd that a guardian should need a guard.” Instead of Juvenal’s later pessimism, indeed cynicism, Plato—through Glaucon—expresses the optimistic view that one should be able to trust the city’s guardians and rulers to behave properly; that they should require oversight is an absurdity. Even a casual perusal of daily newspapers should be sufficient to convince us that there is nothing absurd about the present day “guardians”—leaders and officials of political, economic, and social entities—needing, and indeed getting a great deal of oversight.

        The question is rather as to the extent oversight is, or even can be, effective.

        ~~~~~~~Leonid Hurwicz

    • kesmarn says:

      That’s a stunning statistic, Murph. I didn’t know that.

      And I agree. When you consistently give police departments larger and more sophisticated weaponry, they’re very likely to find excuses to use it.

      • MurphTheSurf3 says:

        Here is another image from the same presentation:


      • I used that stat and the points I made in my comment at a public hearing on a plan by our county. This image or one like it captured what they were looking to do in developing a “rapid response” team for our rural county


        I asked them to outline what circumstances they imagined would required a force like this.

        They spoke of massive raids on fortified compounds, large scale hostage situations, massive civil unrest, terror attacks…..I asked what they would do right now in a case like these. They said they would call for backup from the state police and urban units but that our County needed to have its own rapid and heavy response unit so we were not dependent on other.

        I asked how many times they had called for assistance in the last five years. They said they did not have those tats with them.

        I did. From local media reports.

        3 times in five years.

        I suspect we will still end up with this stuff because they DO LUV EM OME BIG GUNS and ARMOR….GI JOE, DONCHA KNOW!

        • kesmarn says:

          Sad but true, Murph. So disappointing that we’re at this point in human history and have evolved so little.

        • monicaangela says:

          Two recent Presidents, W. Bush and Obama have tried to modify the Posse Comitatus Act. In forming homeland security and placing the Coast Guard under that office, we have a branch of the military, along with the National Guard that can assist our police departments in such instances as you have described.

          I believe because neither of these two could get the complete control over the use of the military against the citizens of this nation, they and others have decided that rather than try to rewrite this law to allow the full defense department to operate against the people, they would simply begin militarizing the Police in this nation. We as citizens appear to be either asleep at the wheel or so disinterested in what is happening in this nation, we are allowing our government through the police department to gear up for war against the citizens of this nation.

          From the New York Times:

          NEENAH, Wis. — Inside the municipal garage of this small lakefront city, parked next to the hefty orange snowplow, sits an even larger truck, this one painted in desert khaki. Weighing 30 tons and built to withstand land mines, the armored combat vehicle is one of hundreds showing up across the country, in police departments big and small.

          The 9-foot-tall armored truck was intended for an overseas battlefield. But as President Obama ushers in the end of what he called America’s “long season of war,” the former tools of combat — M-16 rifles, grenade launchers, silencers and more — are ending up in local police departments, often with little public notice.

          During the Obama administration, according to Pentagon data, police departments have received tens of thousands of machine guns; nearly 200,000 ammunition magazines; thousands of pieces of camouflage and night-vision equipment; and hundreds of silencers, armored cars and aircraft.

          The equipment has been added to the armories of police departments that already look and act like military units. Police SWAT teams are now deployed tens of thousands of times each year, increasingly for routine jobs. Masked, heavily armed police officers in Louisiana raided a nightclub in 2006 as part of a liquor inspection. In Florida in 2010, officers in SWAT gear and with guns drawn carried out raids on barbershops that mostly led only to charges of “barbering without a license.”

    • monicaangela says:

      Excellent comment Murph. I laugh when I read comments from those who would vote republican or that would back the Libertarians and the Koch Brothers. The Tea Party is nothing more than a tool, a tool used by those with power, the Romney’s, the Kochs, and all those that would consider themselves a part of the 1% who control this country.

      The police forces that comprise the police state we are slowly finding ourselves under is controlled by the powerful in this nation. A police state paid for by the tax paying citizens of this nation is falling more and more under the control of those who believe they have had no help getting to where they are or keeping what they have. When will the people of America Wake Up? I wonder…

      • MurphTheSurf3 says:

        Please read my comment to kes above.

        Let me add that other in our crowd wondered if the “fear of government” shouldn’t start at home with fear of local policing. Others wondered if all of this was being proposed in anticipation of civil unrest resulting from economic upheaval and dissatisfaction with our government at all levels.

        When some in the crowd began to push back saying that we do not need to fear our own police, there were plenty of local examples of police over reaction.

  11. Kalima says:

    When a simple statement as “I’ll reserve my judgement until I know the facts” can be misconstrued as wearing blinkers to the fact that violence against minorities is rampant in NY, then we have a problem. It is an accusation of racism no matter how it is written, either directly or indirectly to that person.

    I think I have known Nirek long enough here, and read all of his comments since he joined us, to know he would have said the same thing had the man who died been white.

    I’m a bit disappointed.

    Have been here reading but unable to type.

    • Kalima, I don’t think anyone here even inferred that Nirek was being racist. To say that waiting for more info before coming to conclusions, in this case, is rather astounding when the video clearly shows the man being choked to death, even after his repeated cries of not being able to breathe.

      How much more information does a person need? I think Nirek was just trying to be sensible and not jump to conclusions, but geez, as I said earlier, the video really does speak for itself.

      • Kalima says:

        KT, if you check my comment below you will see that I changed the word “racist” to “those who condone or look the other way”.

        I might be the only person here who could not watch the video to the end because I was aware of what I would see, and again, I don’t believe for a second that Nirek is someone who condones or looks away from this example of police brutality.

        • I never even implied that Nirek would condone such a thing. In this case I just think Nirek is a little naive. That’s not a put down.

          Incidents like this stir up quite a bit of emotion. I don’t think anybody was personally attacking Nirek.

          • Kalima says:

            I didn’t imply that you implied it either, please read my other comments.

            Naive or as he stated, just wanting to hear all the facts before deciding? We all have differing opinions and how we react to certain situations, and that’s not a bad thing.

    • Miles Long says:

      I was speaking in the broader context, however I will further elaborate for those who tend to take singular statements somewhat out of context.

      The America that whites live in is NOT available to non-whites, therefore our perspective is “colored” by historical experiences that whites don’t experience, let alone realize.

      When I see the video, and recall countless other identical incidents both recorded and not, my perspective is quite different than a white person’s, unless they have led an extraordinary life.

      To have a body of evidence of police brutality by the NYPD, and to see a Black man essentially murdered to me is business as usual.

      To a white person who has never experienced systemic brutality that Blacks are visited with far too often, and for little or no provocation, they simply cannot help believing that “there must have been some kind of mitigating circumstance that ‘forced’ that officer to respond accordingly.”

      Blacks do not have the luxury of living in white people’s America, or even vacationing in white America even for the briefest time.

      What we have here on PlanetPOV are good people, but if you cannot imagine the difference in perspective that skin color demands, then this is not the kind of community I thought it was.

      There is a profound difference in perspective between whites and Blacks, I taught these issues as far back as 1975 in the University of Wisconsin system, even going so far as to bring students to Chicago to observe many of the differences first hand.

      I have the body of knowledge and the experience to talk knowledgeably about historical context, sociology, and culture as well as crime and punishment.

      White America is not my America, get used to it. I will see things entirely differently than most here on PlanetPOV do.

      Lets’ take the exact example that has caused so much consternation here. When anyone is content to wait for an in-house investigation of the conduct of an NYPD officer, is there really an expectation that a fair and accurate hearing will occur? Really, is that what you all think?

      That alone merits skepticism of any findings. From a non-white perspective we have seen countless “investigations” exonerate heinous conduct and families who suffer grievous losses are left with no recourse.

      This is such a familiar response to these kinds of investigations non-whites are left to conclude that justice is such a remote occurrence that it is as elusive as that winning PowerBall ticket.

      So, get pissed off at my characterization of silence gives consent, but to a growing percentage of Americans, a benign belief of equal protection under the law is a fantasy that no non-white can afford to embrace. That is a luxury that is out of our grasp.

      My question to PlanetPOV is this: Just what could the dead man have done to deserve to be killed?

      And furthermore, if he was murdered without cause, what do YOU believe is going to happen to the officer who killed him.

      In my America, all I see is business as usual…and that’s the problem.

      Miles “This Ain’t John Edward’s Two Americas” Long

      • Kalima says:

        Miles, what you write about is facts, no one here would disagree with you. My point was that you did single out Nirek’s first comment here, and labeled him in the groups who condone crimes against black people or choose to look away, whether intentionally or unintentionally. I know for a fact that no member here falls under either category, so I felt the need to speak up and make this clear.

        • Miles Long says:

          Then in order to make things clear I will state unequivocally that the majority of people here at PlanetPOV have a very different perspective on law and order, racism and the differences whites and non-whites than I do, as evidenced by the replies to my post(s).

          I don’t call anyone out as a racist, although in all honesty we ALL have our biases; to deny that is to be delusional.

          Nirek and I are entirely different people, I can observe that his view differs from mine without killing the messenger. I have no heat toward his observation, just the factual statement that blinders hinder observation and therefore result in a different perspective than someone who see things in a directly involved context.

          Now if you want to accuse me of anything other than expressing my studied belief that to believe that a “finding” of justification for the officer killing an unarmed Black man is a foregone conclusion, and that by and large whites in this country, more often than not, just accept that which non-whites know to be untrue, you’re absolutely right.

          Where the rubber meets the road, here and now on PlanetPOV, is am I entitled to my studied opinion about traditional, historical not-so-benign neglect of whites in this very real criminal context or even their simple ignorance, or are we going to blow up the Planet because someone got their feeling hurt over entirely factual statements about whites and non-whites America?

          There’s no shame in ignorance, unless it is willful.

          Miles “This Is Where I Live” Long

          • Kalima says:

            You made your point Miles, and I agree with the history of brutality against black people in your country, there is no denying those facts and no one here is trying to.

            Is this a blanket statement too, or is it for those of us you deem to be uninformed and therefore inferior here on The Planet? You know, us “white folks”, who have never known any suffering throughout history.

            “There’s no shame in ignorance, unless it is willful”.

      • monicaangela says:

        SPOT ON MILES !!! If the people of America, and for that matter around the world would take the time to try to put themselves in the shoes of the other guy, much of the hostility and maltreatment of human beings in this world might be avoided. Thank you for this wonderful comment. I have never seen this topic expressed better. Wonderful, you are simply amazing. :)

      • Miles, I agree with you, but don’t lump the whole community here into one big ball. Surely you have read Monica’s comments, and mine.

        • Miles Long says:

          KT, I didn’t do that. I stated that I believe the majority of people here on The Planet are NOT non-white.

          If you will notice, Monicaangela appears to embrace the things I’m saying…what does that suggest to you?

          Miles “We ARE Different, How Cool Is That?” Long

          • “My question to PlanetPOV is this: Just what could the dead man have done to deserve to be killed?”

            Did I misunderstand the above comment? I don’t think you can address the whole site as disagreeing with you.

            • Miles Long says:

              You mistake my question, KT.

              For anyone who reserves judgement on whether or not that police officer was justified in killing an unarmed man, I’m quite curios to hear from anyone who imagines any circumstance where it would be necessary to do so.

              My guess (hope) is that no one here can come up with such reasoning for the act, but as I have said in a number of posts, we’re all different.

              So my asking everyone the question is a fact-finding tour for my own edification, and possible education, not an implication that the whole membership here disagrees with me.

              Miles “In Search Of” Long

    • monicaangela says:

      I have also been here reading and haven’t read yet where anyone called Nirek a racist..where did you read that?

      • Kalima says:

        It doesn’t have to be in black and white, monicaangela, the accusation is there, and this was not directed at you personally.

        I will replace the word “racist” with the words “people who condone it or look the other way”. Neither of which apply to Nirek in this case.

        • monicaangela says:

          I realize it was not directed at me. I also realize that the statement Miles Long made in regards to what “he” feels is not an accusation of racism on his part. He is discussing incidents in history and the fact that those who know their history should know that this incident is not a single incident in the life of those that live in the United States, but something that happens every day. And, because you don’t see the many cases in the news as this one is, is no reason to believe that this does not happen on a regular basis, I believe what he was saying is that people should stop doubting that the police in effect are one thing in minority communities and something altogether different in other communities. This in my opinion leads people to feel differently about “police protection.” In most minority communities people are more likely to expect to be harassed by the police than protected, and that goes double for minorities outside their own communities.

          People who have been suffering under this type of police brutality do tend to get tired of having people ignore the fact that it is happening. I don’t think Miles comment was directed at Nirek, and I don’t believe he was calling Nirek a racist, but I’ll let Miles speak for himself. As for me, I have in no way shape or form read anything here that would lead me to believe Nirek has racist tendencies. Even if he did, that would not change anything, he would be entitled to his beliefs.

          • Kalima says:

            Thanks for the reply, monicaangela, and I know you are right about this brutality being an every day thing in black communities all over America. I just felt that he was being lumped into the group who condone it, and that it was unfair judgement because it wasn’t the reason for his statement about waiting until all the facts were presented.

            I am white but have seen my share of racism directed at my husband in London. I myself was beaten senseless as a child in England just for being German, so I’m no stranger to brutality and hate.

            Will have to leave it at that until I have more time, it’s early morning here.

            See you soon.

  12. Miles Long, you are preaching to the converted. I have a bucket-full of protest buttons going back to Eleanor Bumpurs, and including luminaries like Amadou Diallo and Patrick Dorismond. At the same time, I get really angry after events like this when the usual lefties and other activists show up and we get an outraged march or three and then nothing really happens. The ‘reforms’ are weak tea and nobody pays attention when the ‘independent’ CCRB rubber stamps such events as ‘justified’.

    I think the reason Kimani Gray and Ramarley Graham’s cases got so little in the way of attention was/is the fact that the activist community of NYC is so burned out at getting zero traction in such events that many people have given up. There’s also a dearth of leadership--working class people in NY are fighting so many fights right now that it takes something really egregious to get them out in the streets. Here’s hoping that some good can come out of this--that NYPD gets the kind of scrutiny from the Feds that Mississippi got after the Freedom Riders.

    • monicaangela says:

      I sure hope the de Blasio government will be different than the Bloomberg government when it comes to dealing with corrupt policemen. I believe you are correct, left, right, and in between activist are fed up when it comes to trying to go out into the streets and protest. Protesting against a police state takes a different tactic, a different strategy, and definite support from those in power.

      Mayor de Blasio and the police commissioner have promised a full investigation into the incident. Will this investigation be a serious look at the issues and come down on the side of the victim? How much will this cost the city of New York? When will the people of New York get tired of having their tax payer dollars spent in cases like this and financial settlements after human beings are ruthlessly murdered in broad daylight on New York streets?

  13. kesmarn says:

    Thanks for a terrific article, MBX! This does seem to be becoming more common, doesn’t it?

    I know this sounds like an odd connection to make but — I blame two primary factors: problems with police screening and training and the NRA.

    I wish there were a way to screen out people who have an exceptionally high level of terror from doing police work. If someone is so petrified of the possibility of getting hurt that he/she does preemptive assaults frequently and randomly, that person should probably be in another line of work. I know that wearing that cool uniform and being able to strut around with pepper spray and a gun while making some nice wages is a lure. But the people you want to lure into police work are people who have a sense of fairness and responsibility to the community. Brave people. Not people who attack first and make up stories later because they are scared out of their minds. All the time.

    And thanks to the NRA, even the gutsiest of cops now have to worry much more about who is armed. Because so many people are. Unlike a few decades ago, even a State Highway officer who’s pulling someone over for erratic driving has to approach that car and driver with the awareness that there could be a gun in his face before he has time to ask for a driver’s license. That would definitely heighten the level of job stress on a daily basis.

    Here in Ohio, that infamous “choke hold” came into play in the story of a jailhouse murder. A sheriff’s deputy used it on an inmate. The inmate went unconscious. No one started CPR. By the time medical help arrived the inmate was dead. The story was that he had had a “seizure.” A huge cover up began — going all the way up to the top and including James Telb, the county sheriff at that time. He was so powerful and had such political clout that nobody local would touch the case. Finally, the Cleveland FBI office took it on.

    Although they had the goods on everyone, the one black deputy in the case was the one who took the fall and went to prison. As for James Telb (who clearly had been involved and had been indicted) — he was acquitted of all charges by the very intimidated jury (who, after all, still had to live in the area in which Telb’s cronies would be patrolling after the trial). Not only that, he was re-elected after the trial and retired with a very generous pension.

    Here’s the FBI wrap up on this case: http://www.fbi.gov/cleveland/press-releases/2010/cl120310.htm

    When it starts to be a toss up as to whom we’re more afraid of — the criminals or the police — it begins to feel like a re-run of the Al Capone era.

  14. Miles Long says:

    Just a short comment here from a multi-hued, non-white man.

    Anytime a white person sees a filmed incident like this, where a colored person is handed a beat-down that could ONLY be justified by some kind of threat of life, and automatically says, “Well, I don’t know. I need more evidence before I condemn the police,” they give cover to a crime being committed by the authorities.

    Merely by statistics alone there is overwhelming proof that non-whites suffer disproportionately from police brutality all across this nation, and around the world by our international policies; it’s in our country’s DNA.

    So white silence gives consent, pure and simple. Those whites who would argue against my thesis must ask themselves something Monicaangela mentioned, would whites tolerate the same kind of behavior, with the same frequency if they were subjected to the same level of violence; they would not.

    Ethnic blinders have given cover to the resurgence of violence perpetuated against non-whites in the wake of President Obama’s election and re-election.

    Ethnic blinders have given cover to Stand Your Ground laws passed that give whites the right to kill non-whites with impunity. Would those laws still be on the books if a rash of whites were killed by terrified blacks, who have centuries of evidence proving that whites pose an ongoing threat to the lives of non-whites on a daily basis?

    In California under Gov. Reagan laws were passed permitting open carry of weapons, that is until the Black Panther Party began to openly carry as well. Those laws were repealed immediately.

    To look at the incident in New York as anything BUT unmitigated violence against Blacks is foolish in the extreme and says more about the delusions suffered by those who ignore history, statistics and a proven hostility the NYPD has always had toward people of color.

    Miles “View From The Other Side” Long

    • Nirek says:

      Miles, I’m not condoning anything I saw in the video. In fact, I find it disgusting. But I have seen videos that showed only part of what happened.
      I don’t ignore history, I like to learn from it.
      It will probably turn out that the police were wrong and I’ll be glad of it. I just do not want to jump to conclusions.

      “To look at the incident in New York as anything BUT unmitigated violence against Blacks is foolish in the extreme and says more about the delusions suffered by those who ignore history, statistics and a proven hostility the NYPD has always had toward people of color.”

      I don’t think I am foolish in the extreme.

      • Miles Long says:


        I was speaking to the fact that all too often non-whites see this “incident” in a completely different perspective than whites.

        “I” see it in a completely different perspective than most of those here at PlanetPOV, judging from the comments swirling around the article and my response.

        My intent was not to insult, but to point out the critical divergence of perspective as a result of skin color.

        Let me be frank with you for a moment:

        Whenever this kind of incident occurs I automatically assume that the police officer is the criminal and the dead man (see what I did there?) was an innocent victim of more racist police brutality.

        I do this for several reasons that are as unshakably real for me:

        1. This happens ALL THE TIME to non-whites in America, but for the most part, whites have no idea it’s going on.

        2. Waiting until some internal investigation expecting a fair and accurate rendering of the matter is a fantasy to non-whites.

        3. For white America, out of sight, out of mind. Since whites are almost never brutalized in the same manner or numbers as non-whites, they simply don’t believe that such behavior exists.

        Everyone here on PlanetPOV, with few exceptions, is of above average intelligence and awareness of current events, but I would hazard that very few are aware of the shockingly depressing statistics of police brutality visited on non-whites all across this country.

        To be fair all I know at this point is another police officer killed another non-white in New York City.

        It stretches my belief to think that there was NO other means of subduing the dead man, and because of my research, my thesis-level study of police brutality in this country and the experiences of the hundreds of brutality victims in this country I’ve interviewed, America is a whole different country to me than it is to white people.

        Miles “Mea Culpa, If It Helps” Long

    • monicaangela says:

      Excellent comment Miles. I truly hope that when this does start to happen to members of the Caucasian community as it does to members of minority communities, minorities will be better at standing up and objecting to the illegal use of force by police officers that are actually being paid by those they are killing in New York and elsewhere in the nation.

      A report, entitled “Operation Ghetto Storm”, was performed by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, an anti-racist grassroots activist organization. The organization has chapters in Atlanta, Detroit, Fort Worth-Dallas, Jackson, New Orleans, New York City, Oakland, and Washington, D.C. It has a history of organizing campaigns against police brutality and state repression in black and brown communities. Their study’s sources included police and media reports along with other publicly available information.


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