The American financial and bankster oligarchy, steeped in criminality and parasitism, can produce only a government of war, social reaction and repression. In its blind avarice, it is creating the conditions for unprecedented social upheavals. It is hurtling toward its own revolutionary demise at the hands of the working class.
The elderly are also victims. At noon on September 6, a 71-year-old man watering his lawn was accosted by a teen on a bike who demanded the man’s wallet; when he refused, the teen shot him in the abdomen, and then rifled through his pockets for the wallet before pedaling away. “The streets are gone,” Chicago police-union boss Dean Angelo told me in August 2016. The night before, a Chicago police officer’s son had been killed in a shooting while sitting on his family’s porch, one of 92 people slain during the city’s worst month for homicides since July 1993. The August victims who actually survived their drive-by assaults included ten-year-old Tavon Tanner, shot while playing in front of his house (the bullet damaged Tavon’s pancreas, intestines, kidney, and spleen and is still painfully lodged between his shoulder and chest, despite several operations); an eight-year-old girl shot in the arm while crossing the street; and two six-year-old girls. At least 15 children under the age of 12 were shot in the first seven months of 2016, including a three-year-old boy who is now paralyzed for life following a Father’s Day drive-by shooting. The elderly are also victims. At noon on September 6, a 71-year-old man watering his lawn was accosted by a teen on a bike who demanded the man’s wallet; when he refused, the teen shot him in the abdomen, and then rifled through his pockets for the wallet before pedaling away.
By early September, homicides in Chicago for 2016 were up 47 percent over the same period of 2015, a year in which crime was already up significantly over 2014; nonfatal shootings were also up 47 percent. On Labor Day, nine people were killed, completing a holiday weekend tally of 13 shooting fatalities and 51 nonfatal shooting victims.
“There is no way out of this shooting spree,” Angelo said. His despair is understandable because Chicago is the country’s most glaring example of what I have called the “Ferguson effect.” Chicago officers have cut back dramatically on proactive policing, under the onslaught of criticism from the Black Lives Matter movement and its political and media enablers. Pedestrian stops in Chicago dropped 82 percent through July 20, 2016, compared with the same period in 2015. The cops are “driving by people on the corners,” Angelo tells me. “They’re not sweeping the corners clean any more.” As a result of this drop in discretionary enforcement, criminals are back in control and black lives are being lost at a rate not seen for decades.
Who can blame the Chicago cops for backing off of discretionary activity? They are responding to political signals being sent by the most powerful segments of society. President Barack Obama takes every opportunity to accuse the nation’s police of lethally profiling blacks and Hispanics. The media, activists, and academics routinely denounce pedestrian stops and public-order enforcement as racially driven oppression intended simply to “control African-American and poor communities,” in the words of Columbia law professor Bernard Harcourt. Never mind that it is the law-abiding residents of high-crime areas who beg the police to clear their corners of large groups of teens and other loiterers. Those residents know through hard experience that such disorderly gatherings often produce shootings. But their voices aren’t heard by anyone, it seems, other than the police.
Further discouraging stop activity in Chicago is a misguided agreement signed in 2015 between the Illinois ACLU and the former police superintendent, mandating that all stop forms filled out by Chicago officers be forwarded for review to the ACLU, an organization not known for its unbiased evaluations of police activity. Also contributing to Chicago de-policing is the backlash from city hall’s mishandling of the unjustified fatal police shooting of Laquan McDonald in October 2014.
Chicago cops, like their counterparts in other urban areas in the Black Lives Matter era, now encounter aggressive hostility when they get out of their cars to investigate suspicious behavior. “People are blatantly disrespectful,” Angelo says. “They bait the police.” A few weeks after our conversation, aChicago Tribune reporter filmed a group of teens taunting officers for over an hour during a shooting investigation on the West Side. “F--- the police!” went one chant. “Get the f--- off my block!” came another insult. A black officer was singled out for particular abuse. “You a traitor! You a traitor! You bogus as hell!” one heckler said. “Black lives matter. You a b----,” said another. Someone fired off shots in a nearby alley just for the fun of seeing cops run toward another possible victim. “Run, b----, run!” a shirtless male shouted contemptuously, as the officers took off in a sprint. This chorus of naysayers was actually relatively benign compared with the violent resistance that officers now routinely experience during arrests, but the Tribuneat least opened a window into the Black Lives Matter–inspired street reality that the media have heretofore refused to cover.
Two credible threats to assassinate Chicago officers were picked up over the summer: the first was apprehended by the National Gang Intelligence Center and the second by the Chicago PD. Forty officers have been targeted in gun assaults this year through September 15, up 100 percent from the same period in 2015 and 2014.
The media have offered every possible explanation for the anarchy other than the right one. Favorite theories include, as usual, poverty, racism, and lack of government services. Police superintendent Eddie Johnson also invokes “social and economic ills” as causes of the rising violence, but he focuses mostly on the argument that Chicago’s gun felons don’t receive harsh enough sentences. He may have a point, but it is one lost on Illinois’ Legislative Black Caucus, which blocks any effort to impose stricter mandatory minimum sentences on violent felons. (The caucus’s opposition to strengthened gun-crime statutes constitutes a sub-rosa acknowledgment that the vast majority of gun criminals in Chicago are black—80 percent of them, in fact.) Following particularly bloody weekends, Johnson reels off the weapons offenses of recent shooting victims (he focuses on victims because the no-snitch ethic usually prevents the identification of their shooters). Johnson’s litany of gun criminals who are back on the streets in little or no time destroys the favorite conceit among “criminal-justice reform” advocates that a racist system is imposing draconian sentences on harmless sad sacks.
But neither Johnson’s lax gun-sentencing explanation for the Chicago violence surge nor the media’s poverty-and-systemic-injustice explanation gets the timing right. Chicago’s violent crime started rising sharply in 2015 and continued into 2016. Sentencing protocols didn’t weaken in late 2014; gangbangers with guns got the same criminal-justice treatment before violence started rising as after. Nor did poverty or alleged racism worsen after late 2014. What did change was the intensity of antipolice ideology, driven by the Black Lives Matter movement, relentlessly amplified by the press, and echoed by President Obama.
The ideal solution to ending Chicago’s violence would be for more at-risk boys to be raised by both of their parents. Superintendent Johnson has admirably spoken out about family breakdown, the real “root cause” of inner-city violence. “When I go home at night, and I see my neighbors,” Johnson said after the Labor Day carnage, “they’re asking me how come African-Americans won’t step up to the plate and be parents to their children. So all of this fundamentally starts at home.” But until both mothers and fathers start raising their children together, the police will be the only thing standing between the law-abiding residents of high-crime areas and total anarchy. And when the police pull back, under the accusation that proactive enforcement is racist, it is the law-abiding who suffer.
“Where does this end?” Dean Angelo mused as our conversation wound down. “I don’t know. We’re in an unknown environment. We don’t know at what point in time the people in this city and the city council will stand up and say: ‘Enough is enough,’ so that cops again feel that they have the support to be the police again.”
Heather Mac Donald is the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a contributing editor of City Journal, and the author of the New York Times bestseller The War on Cops.
STAGGERING BLACK VIOLENCE IN
AMERICA WHERE JOBS STILL GO TO ILLEGALS
Of the 702 people shot to death by police this year, according
to a database maintained by the Washington Post, 163 were
black men, about 23 percent of the total. Whites made up roughly half
the victims, while Hispanics, Native Americans, Asians, black women
and people of mixed race made up the balance. Death toll mounts in US police killings
Death toll mounts in US police killings
By Patrick Martin 3 October 2016
At least 19 people lost their lives in
encounters with police in the United States
last week. The victims, all men, ranged in age
from 18 to 53. Seventeen were shot to death,
one tased, and one both tased and beaten and
strangled. In only two of the cases were the
victims shot while engaged in violent attacks
on others. All the others were shot while
fleeing or allegedly resisting police, or while
experiencing mental health or emotional
In several instances the police killings sparked protests. In El Cajon, California, a suburb of San Diego, there were protests over the death September 27 of Alfred Olango, an immigrant from Uganda who was tased and shot to death while unarmed. Olango was having an emotional breakdown after learning of the death of a friend.
In Pasadena, California, a suburb of Los Angeles, more than 100 people gathered to protest the killing of Reginald Thomas, father of eight children, after police were called to address a domestic dispute early Friday. The 36-year-old black man, who was reportedly bipolar, was said to be waving a knife and a fire extinguisher when police arrived.
Despite the claims by Democratic Party politicians and middle-class groups like Black Lives Matter that police violence is exclusively a matter of race, with white cops killing African-Americans, the 19 victims last week included at least eight white men, a Hispanic man and an Asian man.
The race of the police killers was usually not reported, but the killings took place in many cities with racially diverse police forces, including Newark, New Jersey; Houston, Texas; and Los Angeles and San Diego, California.
The geographic distribution of the killings included inner cities, suburbs and rural areas, and all regions of the country, from the Northeast to the Pacific Coast. By states, the killings fell as follows: Arizona, Arkansas, California (3), Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Michigan (2), Minnesota, New Jersey (2), Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas (2), and West Virginia.
The death toll on a single day, Friday, September 30, gives a glimpse of the savage character of social relations in the US and the unrestrained brutality of the police, who serve as the first line of defense for capitalist property and the authority of the capitalist state. There were no less than seven victims.
These included, in addition to Reginald Thomas in Pasadena:
* Clayton Eugene Baker, a 24-year-old white man, shot to
death by a Trinity County sheriff’s deputy in Groveton, Texas, a small town north of Houston, after the policeman arrived in response to a reported domestic dispute.
* Douglas Marrickus Rainey, a 32-year-old black man, shot to
death by a SWAT team in rural Gowensville, South Carolina,
hours after a reported armed robbery at a Dollar General
which led to a general lockdown of the region.
* Richard Parent, a 37-year-old white man, shot by Michigan
state police in Van Buren Township, in the western suburbs of Detroit, after a lengthy chase. Parent refused to pull over on a traffic stop, allegedly claiming to be a “sovereign citizen.”
* Najier Salaam and George Richards-Meyers, both 18 years
old, shot to death by six Newark, New Jersey police, who
claimed to be confronting a three-man gang responsible for a
series of carjackings. None of the officers was injured despite
claims of a wild shootout.
* Jacquarius M. Robinson, a 20-year-old black man, killed by a police SWAT team in Columbus, Ohio, 10 hours after police responded to the scene of a shooting death on the city’s east side. Robinson attempted to flee and police shot him dead. It was not known whether there was any evidence connecting him to the earlier killing.
Public attention has focused on the killings in southern California because these provoked angry protests, albeit on a limited scale and without further clashes with the police. Tensions rose again over the weekend after an 18-year-old black youth, Carnell Snell Jr., was shot to death by police about 1 p.m. Saturday in south Los Angeles, after police stopped a car on suspicion that it was stolen.
Two people fled from the car and police shot and killed one of them, later identified as Snell. Police claimed to have found a handgun at the scene, but there was no indication that the youth had the gun in his possession or had fired it. Police frequently place “throw-down” guns at the site of such shootings to provide retroactive justification.
There were protests from family members and other local residents, including one young woman who told the Los Angeles Times, “A police officer should not be the judge, the jury and the executioner.” Snell’s mother, Monique Morgan, said she had been told her son was shot five times in the back. Witnesses told the local CBS television station KCAL that Snell had his hands up and was telling police not to shoot him when they opened fire.
According to the grim tally kept by the web site killedbypolice.net, the week’s death toll, including the police shooting Sunday morning of an as yet unidentified man in Markham, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, brought the year’s total to 868 people. A separate tally, maintained by the Washington Post, found that whites comprised 46 percent of the victims of police killings this year, blacks 24 percent, and Hispanics 16 percent, with other races and undetermined accounting for the remaining 14 percent.
Blacks are killed by police at a much higher rate than their proportion in the population, an indication that racism plays a significant role, but the number of white victims demonstrates that class, not race, is the more fundamental issue. Nearly all the victims of police killings are from the working class, and usually its poorest sections. Police killings do not take place in Beverly Hills, Grosse Pointe or the Upper East Side of Manhattan, but in lower income areas, whether urban, suburban or rural.
That does not stop Democratic Party politicians from seeking to cover up the class character of police violence with rhetoric about “systemic racism.” Hillary Clinton did so during her debate with Republican Donald Trump last Monday and again during a visit Sunday morning to an African Methodist Episcopal church in Charlotte, North Carolina, where 36-year-old Keith Scott was gunned down by police September 20.
Scott; the policeman who killed him, Brentley Vinson; and the Charlotte police chief in charge of whitewashing his death, Kerr Putney; are all African-American. That fact alone demonstrates that the struggle against police violence requires uniting workers of all races in the building of a political movement directed against the capitalist class and the police and politicians who serve it.
Sacramento grappling with video that appears to show police trying to run over mentally ill man they later fatally shot
A graphic police video that appears to show two Sacramento police officers trying to run over a mentally ill homeless man with their cruiser has sparked tough questions from both city leaders and some law enforcement use-of-force experts who say it might be hard to justify the behavior.
Patrol car recordings related to the July 11 fatal shooting of Joseph Mann were released by police Sept. 20. But it wasn’t until last week that enhanced audio from one dash camera inside a police cruiser revealed one officer using an expletive and saying, “I’m going to hit him.” The other officer can be heard saying, “Go for it" as the patrol car turns sharply toward Mann.
Mann died less than a minute later after officers chased him a short distance on foot and opened fire, striking him 14 times. Police were pursuing Mann after receiving reports of a man wielding a knife in the neighborhood.
Two experts in police tactics said the video and audio recording raised several troubling questions about the officers’ actions. They note that for most of the pursuit, officers were safe inside their cars and no members of the public appeared near Mann.
Ed Obayashi, a Plumas County sheriff’s deputy and legal advisor on police use of force, called what he saw on the videos "Lone Ranger-ish." He was most concerned by the officer stating his intention to harm Mann half a block away from the suspect, even before seeing what Mann was doing.
Footage obtained by the Sacramento Bee from a private citizen shows officers firing at a mentally ill black suspect.
"I have a real issue with officers declaring their intent in the heat of the moment,” he said.
"The issue [is] ... the use of lethal force with the radio car as a weapon. That is tough to defend,” said Charles "Sid" Heal, a retired Los Angeles County sheriff's commander.
“It is impossible to be definitive because the situational awareness is developed beyond what the video depicts, but without substantial provocation and urgency, deciding to employ lethal force before confronting the suspect is going to be difficult to defend,” Heal said.
Former Los Angeles Police Department Capt. Greg Meyer, a prominent use-of-force expert, cautioned that the officers' comments are open to interpretation. The remark "I'm going to hit him" does not necessarily mean "run him over,” Meyer said Sunday.
The revelations contained in the recordings have shaken Sacramento officials, who are unsure of exactly what problem they are dealing with, and how deep it runs.
“I need to understand, from the police chief himself, is this customary? And then what happens? I’m looking for answers and a path forward,” said Alan Warren, a City Council member who is pressing Sacramento police officials to disclose more about their investigation into the shooting.
A year ago, Sacramento was celebrating its distinction as the most integrated major city in the United States. The Mann shooting and an earlier case have prompted Sacramento to examine the issue of how law enforcement treats blacks, part of a national debate.
The April 2016 police shooting of a homeless man, Dazion Flenaugh, had drawn little attention. Similarly, the shooting of Mann was treated as a local crime story. Television coverage focused on the officer who injured himself while attempting to catch the 50-year-old suspect, who police said had charged them.
In August, cellphone and security camera videos obtained by private investigators revealed it was Mann who had been charged, by two police officers shooting at him. Last week, the Sacramento Bee reported the officers’ dialogue, pulled from enhanced audio from their dash cam.
Mann had attended college and worked for 17 years at a grocery store and then as an administrative clerk for the state corrections department. He slid into mental illness after his mother’s death three years ago.
He had no home of his own but slept in the homes of his family members in Sacramento. “He was not the most attractive victim, unemployed, African American,” said Mark T. Harris, a Sacramento lawyer who has taken on the community action side of the case alongside Oakland lawyer John Burris, who has filed a federal lawsuit against Sacramento on behalf of Mann's elderly father and three siblings.
“The dash-cam video and audio is the most disturbing view into the mind-set of local law enforcement of anything I’ve personally been involved with in the 35 years I’ve been practicing law,” Harris said Sunday.
Both in community forums and in the lawsuit, the lawyers challenge why police did not follow now-standard police procedures to de-escalate confrontations with mentally ill subjects, but instead did “the absolute opposite.”
After residents called to report a strange man in their neighborhood wielding a knife and/or gun, a patrol car tailed Mann for several minutes at a slow pace as an officer repeatedly ordered the oddly gesturing man to “drop the knife.” A second car arrived and attempted to intercept Mann. But he jogged around it, and at one point threw an object — identified by Harris as a plastic water bottle — at a patrol car.
It was inside a third cruiser, just arriving on the scene, that an officer declared, “I’m going to hit him,” as Mann began to cross in front. The other officer urged, “OK. Go for it. Go for it.”
But it is unclear if the reference was to hitting Mann with the car, or in a body tackle. Video from another police car shows the officer had his door open on the side closest to Mann as the subject scrambled away.
The same officer shouted, “Watch it! Watch it! Watch it!” seconds later when the pursuit car again almost clipped Mann. They pulled to the curb and chased Mann on foot, trapping him against a high fence. A voice off camera shouts “Come on — !” just before gunfire erupts. Mann instantly drops to the ground. Sixteen shots were fired. Fourteen hit Mann.
Officers later found a knife with a 4-inch blade, according to police.
There is no public video of the death of Flenaugh, shot by Sacramento police in April. The 40-year-old was wandering a neighborhood, peering into windows and doors, when he was picked up by officers and detained in their car. After Flenaugh panicked, he was released and ran, taking a kitchen knife from a home. In a pursuit by police, he was shot six times.
Six months later, the Police Department has not released its report of the killing or Flenaugh’s autopsy.
"It is not small-town Mayberry, but [Sacramento] has been the place where that kind of stuff doesn't happen," Harris said.
Sacramento neighborhoods are so diverse that Priceconomics, an online data journal, published a report identifying the city of 479,000 as the nation's most integrated.
However, Harris and others said there long have been problems with how the Sacramento Police Department treats minorities, especially in largely minority neighborhoods such as Del Paso Heights, where Mann was killed.
“They have to regain our trust. They have to do it as if they want to, in their hearts, and not come into our community as though they’re at war with us,” Tanya Faison, with the Sacramento chapter of Black Lives Matter, told members of a police advisory commission in August.
Amid the call for independent scrutiny, Sacramento's Office of Public Safety Accountability will release its own review of the shooting in two weeks, director Francine Tournour said Sunday.
Both of the officers involved in Mann’s shooting had been with the department more than two decades.
Burris has challenged whether one, John Tennis, was fit to carry a firearm. County court files show Tennis’ wife had received a restraining order against him after she claimed he abused her and their children.
The other officer, Randy Lozoya, received a commendation in 2010 for saving the life of a man who had shot himself in an attempted suicide. Lozoya held up the bleeding man so that he could breathe until ambulances arrived.
STAGGERING BLACK VIOLENCE IN AMERICA WHERE JOBS STILL GO TO ILLEGALS
Of the 702 people shot to death by police this year, according to a database maintained by the Washington Post, 163 were black men, about 23 percent of the total. Whites made up roughly half the victims, while Hispanics, Native Americans, Asians, black women and people of mixed race made up the balance.
AMERICA’S YOUTH STARVE
FOR EIGHT YEARS BARACK OBAMA AND HIS HAREM OF CORRUPT DEM POLS
HAS SABOTAGED OUR BORDERS TO EASE TENS OF MILLIONS OF ILLEGALS
INTO OUR JOBS, WELFARE OFFICES AND VOTING BOOTHS.
What is left for Legals is only the tax bills for La Raza's looting!
"Los Angeles saw all crime rise in 2015: violent crime up 19.9 percent, homicides up 10.2 percent, shooting victims up 12.6 percent, rapes up 8.6 percent, robberies up 12.3 percent, and aggravated assault up 27.5 percent," Landry said.”
THE FINAL TRANSFER OF AMERICA’ ECONOMY TO THE SUPER RICH!
Police kill 23-year-old man in Louisville, Nebraska
By Nick Barrickman 26 September 2016
On Wednesday evening at 7:12 pm, Cass County Sheriff’s Deputy Tyler Reiff shot and killed 23-year old Austin M. Baier in Louisville, Nebraska, after the latter allegedly became aggressive during a traffic stop.
According to Sheriff’s Office, Reiff had stopped Baier’s 1992 Buick Century after receiving a complaint of reckless driving in which the young man’s vehicle had been identified. After initially stopping at the officer’s request, Baier accelerated again before getting out of his car to confront the officer. The officer then shot Baier. Witnesses recall hearing four shots fired.
Subsequent attempts by Reiff and medical personnel to revive the young man were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead at the scene shortly afterward. Reiff has been placed on desk duty pending further investigation into the killing.
Baier had no prior criminal record and co-workers described him as “free-spirited” and caring. Meiah Yale-Barton, a co-worker of Baier’s at Louisville’s Main Street Café, told reporters from the Omaha World-Herald that Baier struggled with mental illness and access to medication.
In comments to the Lincoln Journal-Star, Baier’s family members stated they suspected the young man might have been intoxicated at the time of the traffic stop.
The Nebraska State Patrol, which is investigating the killing, has released no information on whether Baier had been armed or whether he had threatened Reiff in any way to justify the shooting. Cass County Attorney Nathan Cox has refused to state whether any video footage of the altercation exists and has withheld the results from an autopsy conducted Thursday pending a grand jury review of the evidence.
According to a state law passed in April, a Nebraska grand jury is permitted to withhold the autopsy findings until its review of a specific case has been concluded, which could take months.
Baier’s death is the first officer-involved killing in Cass County since 2004, when sheriff’s deputies were involved in a stand-off that ultimately took the life of an unstable man in the nearby town of Avoca (population 242 in 2013).
According to the Guardian, Baier was the seventh person killed by police in the state of Nebraska since the beginning of the year.
On September 6, Omaha police shot and killed 25-year-old David L. Anderson in a South Omaha residential neighborhood after the latter attempted to evade arrest. According to a statement released after the killing, Omaha police officers Michael Jones and Scott Kuzminksi and three other deputies sought to apprehend Anderson, who had a warrant out for his arrest after failing to appear before his probation officer on six different occasions. Anderson had been convicted on drug charges in 2013.
After officers approached Anderson, whose vehicle had been parked in a residential driveway, the latter tried to flee by repeatedly ramming the unmarked police car blocking his escape. Officers Kuzminski and Jones let loose a volley of gunfire, striking Anderson eight times. Anderson later died from his injuries.
According to Omaha policing regulations, an officer is allowed to fire on a moving vehicle in self-defense or defense of another, but under no circumstance should purposefully seek to place themselves in the path of a vehicle or open fire without similar cause. The Omaha Police Department has presented no evidence showing that any of the officers were in danger of being struck by Anderson’s vehicle before deciding to open fire.
Baier and Anderson’s deaths at the hands of the police further give the lie to claims presented by the advocates of racialist and identity politics that the rising wave of police brutality in America is a reflection of an unbridgeable racial hatred among whites against African Americans. Both Anderson and Baier were white, as are the police in both incidents.
Police brutality in the United States routinely claims the lives of poor and working people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds, with a recent analysis done by the Guardian newspaper showing that whites make up nearly half of all those killed by police in recent months.
Earlier this month, Omaha police concluded a three-month multi-agency push entitled “Operation Triple Beam.” According to the Omaha World-Herald, the aim of the local, state and federal crackdown was to arrest “fugitives, gang members and violent offenders,” resulting in the apprehension of 268 individuals. According to Mark Martinez, U.S. Marshal for the district of Nebraska, “It goes to the old saying, ‘Two heads are better than one,’ [the operation was able to] locate people and make arrests in a more expedient manner.” Martinez noted that the program was heavily funded by the US Department of Justice.
Omaha, a former industrial manufacturing and meatpacking hub in the central US, has been decimated by the closure of industry in the region. According to the U.S. Census, in the meatpacking industry alone, major factories in the Omaha-Douglas Metropolitan region have closed or been moved to non-urban centers far from the city. According to the Census, as of 2007 the average wage stood at $13.10 an hour, less than $3 more than the average wage of $10.70 in 1947.
Meanwhile, the militarization of local police units continues apace, with the Nebraska Crime Commission, the state’s top law enforcement body, recently announcing its decision to rewrite rules allowing for speeding up the process for military police officers seeking transfer to civilian policing. According to the Associated Press, under the new rules military police officers could bypass nearly half of the nine-month training course given to new recruits.
Charlotte police release videos showing Keith Scott with arms down as he was shot
By Tom Carter 26 September 2016
In an effort to quell ongoing unrest, officials in Charlotte, North Carolina released multiple videos Saturday that show portions of Keith Scott’s fatal encounter with police officers on September 20.
The fierce protests that erupted over Scott’s death were met by an immediate official “state of emergency,” the imposition of a curfew, and the activation of the National Guard. Protests continued for the sixth day on Sunday. On Saturday, hundreds demonstrated in front of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department headquarters in defiance of the midnight curfew. Heavily armed police units also prevented protesters from blocking traffic on a nearby freeway.
The Charlotte police originally refused to release videos of the Scott shooting on the grounds that it would only incite more anger. Charlotte Police Chief Kerr Putney directly opposed the release of the videos: “It will inflame the situation and make it even worse. It will exacerbate the backlash. It will increase the distrust.” In other words, the more criminal the behavior of the state and its agents, the more reason for those crimes to be kept secret.
After angry protests continued unabated throughout the week, the Charlotte officials reversed themselves and released the videos Saturday. In one video, taken from a dashcam, Scott is shown calmly walking backwards. His arms are at his sides. His demeanor is not threatening or aggressive, and he appears to be listening to and complying with the officers’ commands. It clearly shows that nothing is in his right hand, though it is not clear if anything is in his left hand (Scott was right-handed).
Another video, taken from a body camera, provides a shaky perspective of another officer present at the shooting, but with the audio preceding the shooting missing. Scott is mostly not visible in this video, except for one glimpse where his right hand is empty and relaxed at his side. Before cutting off, the video shows Scott being handcuffed as he lies on the ground moaning, while an officer asks for a bag from the back of his car.
Before the videos were released, Putney had claimed that they showed Scott had “something in the hand and that he pointed it at an officer.” The video, however, shows nothing of the sort.
“It does not make sense to us how this incident resulted in the loss of life...and it’s not clear in the videos that were released,” Ray Dotch, Scott’s brother-in-law, said in a statement.
Only part of the video evidence has been released, but police also released a photo purporting to show a gun by the feet of Scott’s corpse. However, in cellphone video taken by Rakeyia Scott, Keith Scott’s wife, no object appears in that area, leading to questions as to whether the police tampered with or planted evidence. While her view is partially obstructed by nearby vehicles, her voice can clearly be heard begging the police not to kill her husband.
“Don’t shoot him. Don’t shoot him. He has no weapon. He has no weapon. Don’t shoot him. He didn’t do anything,” Rakeyia Scott tells the officers. “He doesn’t have a gun. He has a TBI [traumatic brain injury]. He’s not going to do anything to you guys. He just took his medicine.” After a sudden burst of four gunshots can be heard, she screams, “Did you shoot him? Did you shoot him? Did you shoot him?”
A witness who saw the shooting, Taheshia Williams, told reporters that Scott was complying with the officers’ instructions. “Obviously, complying still gets you murdered,” she said, “because that’s what happened.” Williams also heard Scott’s last words, which were, “What is the problem? What did I do? What’s wrong?”
Another video has surfaced on Facebook of Scott’s daughter staggering hysterically around the area of the shooting, screaming, “My daddy is dead!” On that video, police can be seen swarming the streets while local residents angrily confront them.
The Charlotte demonstrations, developing spontaneously and fueled by mass popular anger over social inequality and the ongoing epidemic of police brutality, provide some indication of the explosive tensions in America. Hundreds of youth blocked local roads on the night of the shooting, facing down phalanxes of heavily armed riot police who fired tear gas grenades into the crowds and charged, tackled and handcuffed demonstrators.
Justin Carr, 26, was killed during the protests. During a chaotic melee with riot police, Carr was discovered with a gunshot wound to his head. Minister Steve Knight of Mission Gathering Christian Church in Charlotte declared via Twitter that Carr was killed by the police: “It was an ambush. The victim was shot while he stood between two ministers, and we believe he was shot by police.” The authorities, meanwhile, have charged Rayquan Borum, 21, with his murder, and the motive is unclear. Carr’s mother told reporters Friday that her son “died for a cause.”
By now, the American population has had a long experience with police departments providing utterly fictional accounts of shootings that take place, only to shamelessly revise their stories later after video evidence contradicts the original story.
The police also routinely plant or tamper with evidence at the scenes of shootings. On September 22, St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley was charged with murder after a video emerged showing him executing Anthony Lamar Smith with an AK-47 and then planting a gun on him. A dashcam recorded Stockley during the pursuit boasting, “I’m going to kill this motherf-----! Don’t you know it!”
The official media accounts have presented Keith Scott’s death in purely racial terms, while presenting police brutality as a merely a pattern of crimes perpetrated by white police officers against unarmed black men. While racism is indisputably a factor in many police shootings, Brentley Vinson, the police officer who shot Keith Scott, together with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police chief, who opposed the release of the videos, are black.
According to the web site killedbypolice.net, police have killed 849 people so far in the year 2016. In the five days since the death of Keith Scott, who was number 840, nine more people have been killed. Data aggregated and analyzed by the Washington Post reveals that black men represent about a quarter of the total number of deaths, while white victims account for approximately half.
Both widely despised presidential candidates for the 2016 US elections, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, have sought to exploit the events in Charlotte for their own ends.
Trump, who presents himself as the “law and order” candidate, addressed his sympathies to the police. “Hopefully the violence & unrest in Charlotte will come to an immediate end,” Trump tweeted. “To those injured, get well soon. We need unity & leadership.”
Hillary Clinton, for her part, attempted to adapt herself to the enormous popular anger over police brutality. “Charlotte should release police video of the Keith Lamont Scott shooting without delay,” she tweeted on Friday, “We must ensure justice & work to bridge divides. –H” This missive was issued after three days of protests, and only the day before the Charlotte authorities released the videos.
Notwithstanding Clinton’s cynical posturing six weeks before the elections, the Obama administration consistently defended police brutality in the Supreme Court, where the administration’s lawyers insisted that the police should have “qualified immunity” from lawsuits based on violations of civil rights, such as the use of excessive force. Throughout the eight years of the Obama administration, the epidemic of police violence and the militarization of the police continues unabated, with local police departments receiving billions of dollars in grants and military equipment.
While Charlotte authorities released two videos over the weekend, a new North Carolina law goes into effect on October 1 that will bar the release to the public of any future recordings from police body cameras or dashboard cameras. The new law has the full support of the state’s police organizations.
Political correctness is lethal, and the killing fields of Chicago provide ample evidence to those willing to look at it with clear eyes.
The Associated Press manages to provide some surprisingly frank details on the real nature of the outbreak of murder in Chicago, a phenomenon that has become a worldwide emblem of the violence depravity of American society, in the eyes of America-haters. In a piece titled “Why is Chicago a murder capital? Clues from a bloody month,” Don Babwin lays out clearly specific subculture that is responsible for the murders:
To those outside Chicago, the rising murder toll might suggest a city wracked by widespread violence, but August portrays a much narrower picture of constant tit-for-tat attacks among gang members, with bystanders sometimes caught in the crossfire.
Babwin lets the subculture reveal itself through interviews.
Fourteen-year-old Malik Causey loved the way gangs took what they wanted from people on the street, the way members fought for each other, the way they could turn drugs into cash and cash into $400 jeans.
His mother tried to stop him. She yanked him out of houses where he didn't belong. She cooked up a story about Malik punching her so the police would lock him up to keep him safe for a while.
Then on Aug. 21, Monique Causey woke to discover that her son had sneaked out of the house. Before she could find him, someone ended his life with a bullet to the back of his head a few blocks away.
"I went to him and cried and told him he wouldn't make it," Causey said. "But this fighting, jumping on people ... this is all fun for them. This is what they like to do, you know, so how can you stop them?"
Monique Causey and a picture of Malik.
This is utterly horrifying and heartbreaking. A mother is powerless to save her son from the allure of a street culture that proved irresistible. The drug trade offers quick money, and the macho aggressiveness necessary to defend drug-dealing turf leads to the tit-for-tat of murder.
"People are arguing on Facebook over the color of some girl's hair, real simple things ... and they carry guns and when they finally catch each other, that's how it be," said Derrick House, 51, a former gang member and ex-convict who now works trying to prevent violence. "When they see the person they looking for, they don't care who else is out there, old people and kids, they just start shooting."
This subculture’s membership is well known to police:
… more than 70 percent of those shot to death appeared on the Chicago police's "Strategic Subject List," which includes 1,400 people considered likely targets of violence based on gang involvement or criminal record.
The real question then becomes how to destroy this subculture. The Constitution rules out simple but drastic measures, and left-wing legal groups are anxious to push theories like disparate impact to prevent reasonable approaches surviving litigation. Cops can convict some of the murderers, but incarceration is hardly a scary deterrent when murder is so common a fate.
The real leverage point for change would be the broader culture. These kids have their minds filled with glamorous imagery and music glorifying gangsta life. But getting the producers of this material to stop is fruitless. Instead, we need to start mocking the gangsters as dummies, too stupid to realize they are throwing everything away. Stop treating them as victims, and let the rest of humanity scorn their subculture as uncool. Of course, it is taboo for whites to scorn anything associated with any blacks. But is this taboo worth preserving when it is killing thousands of young African-American males?
The one thing adolescents can’t stand is shaming as uncool. It is time to let the natural human revulsion at this barbarity be expressed instead of repressed by political correctness.