Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Baltimore Riot in Review.

As "disturbing" as these recent images are,
these could be a trend in
America in the next decade .
I thought I would never write about another , (some what) "racially charged" police brutality story . I was going to just skip the subject , but with all the burning , looting made me think.  There is no way to deny that some police tactics are a bit unreasonable , but police brutality is nothing new in our nation . (**)> It's that with he advent of technology it , so obvious it's going to get posted on YouTube. The world will see it. For a long time I was a prolific watcher of the syndicated show called (2)>  COPS  , there were numerous episodes which the police in the show used force , and entrapment with out reading the rights of the arrested .  In the case of Freddie Gray , there is a real mystery as why he was pulled over , and why he ran .+++>On a corner of an impoverished West Baltimore neighborhood two weeks ago, they seemed to recognize each other immediately.As three officers approached on bicycles along West North Avenue, the 25-year-old Gray was on the east corner of North Mount Street chatting with a friend, Gray swore, taking off on foot as the officers began hot-stepping on their pedals to catch up. One officer jumped off his bike to chase Gray on foot, police said.The reason Gray was chased by police remains unclear. Police have said it came in part because he ran, raising officers' suspicions in an area known for drug dealing. (1)>  A police report on the arrest states that Gray "fled unprovoked" and that an illegal switchblade knife was later found on him but provides no other reason for the pursuit. Oh wait a minute ! , the report said that an illegal switchblade knife was the reason that the police made the decision to go after Freddy.  Even if Freddy had an extensive criminal history, he did not deserved death, and it is not a mistake to say the cops killed him, or are even maybe hiding anything relative to his death. For all I know he had a severe asthmatic event and because he wasn't belted in his seat he fell and that caused the injury. It might just be simple error like that. it might also be a cop decided to deal a fate to Gray given his years of miscreant behavior. Or that Gray was injured before he was actually apprehended, while running to escape.The police are clearly hiding something - that point is indisputable. I wonder why whenever we seem to have a situation like this (and there is no shortage these days), people with little or no knowledge want to weigh in to disparage the victim. I feel for police and the job with which they are tasked, but they have the power of life and death, and that demands rigorous scrutiny to head off abuse...or is it just not considered abuse when the victim is Black? There are accusations that Freddy was dealing drugs . The police chased him. If he didn't run, the outcome may have been different but we will never know. Same with the other shooting of Walter Scott, which led to the arrest of Officer Michael Slager after a video surfaced showing the officer shooting and killing an unarmed running black man in the back. There is a more deeper problem , in  our American culture ##> According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, homicide was indeed the No. 1 killer of black men between the ages of 15 and 34 in 2011, the most recent year with statistics available. Accidents were the second leading cause of death.Compared to other ethnicities, the numbers really stand out. Forty percent of African-American males 15-34 who died were murdered, according to the CDC, compared to just 3.8 percent of white males who died. Overall, 14 percent of all men 15-34 who died in 2011 were murdered.Beyond driving habits, the criminal homicide rate among young black males is significantly higher than other groups. This, experts agreed, has to do with poverty and geography.The difference in social structures, access to jobs, educational opportunities, and many other factors between impoverished black neighborhoods and others is often a matter of life and death,But quantifying that pattern is difficult. Federal databases that track police use of force or arrest-related deaths paint only a partial picture. Police department data is scattered and fragmented. No agency appears to track the number of police shootings or killings of unarmed victims in a systematic, comprehensive way.

Why the riots send the wrong message.

The world has been watching the riots that have been breaking out in major cities in America , that The protesters don’t even know what the hell they’re even protesting about. What are they doing? Really, honestly, what are they doing? They’re capitalizing on a tragedy so they can get free stuff. It makes absolutely no sense. Why would you trash your own city? Why would you do that? Because you don’t care. It’s fun. You can get free stuff.  I understand why people protest police brutality in ways that only remind us of why we need police. Burning a whole city , and excessive lawlessness is not the answer . The world media is watching , they see that  is America burning , Television images showed mobs of rioters jumping on top of a police car, destroying a taxi and setting two other patrol cars on fire after teenaged crowds ignored calls to disperse and clashed with lines of hundreds of police. Gangs had threatened to target police officers, local law enforcement said. Schools, businesses and train stations closed in Baltimore, a city of 662,000 people 40 miles (64 km) from the nation’s capital.Another failure may be how Baltimore’s mayor, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, has handled the situation. For his part, Hot Air's Ed Morrissey blames the mayor for trying to have it both ways when it came to both respecting and controlling the protesters . It's also ludicrous that rioters are "protesting" the illegitimate, barbaric and criminal use of state force in a manner that will trigger entirely legitimate use of state force, that will likely harm or kill many. When a police officer is put in a coma by a thrown brick, they're going to respond with great force, and the great majority of Americans will actively support or tacitly agree with this decision.Then the investigation of the criminal and abusive treatment of Gray will be entirely drowned out by the vocal defense of the appropriate response to a riot. Another tragedy.

 What we are seeing  ( or I might say) is having a negative impact on the national image , and the world.

+++> Calming racial fears, helping black neighborhoods develop economically, and ending prosecution policies that disproportionately affect young black men are some potential public policy retorts to the pain seen in the streets, urban culture experts say.Baltimore, for one, has already moved to address police brutality concerns, in part by firing more than 50 officers since 2012 and offering better training to the corps. Following Mr. Gray's death, Mayor Rawlings-Blake said she wants to make police more accountable by adding body cameras to their uniforms.Though the Maryland legislature refused to even hear a bill that would make it easier to probe police misconduct, the General Assembly did pass six bills this spring to address police brutality – including measures doubling the maximum civil lawsuit awards in cases where police injure citizens and requiring that police departments report all police-involved killings in the state. ## >In Oakland, California, the NAACP reported that out of 45 officer-involved shootings in the city between 2004 and 2008, 37 of those shot were black. None were white. One-third of the shootings resulted in fatalities. Although weapons were not found in 40 percent of cases, the NAACP found, no officers were charged. (These numbers don't include 22-year-old Oscar Grant, who was shot and killed by a transit authority officer at the Fruitvale BART station on New Year's Day of 2009.)(**)> If a white officer shoots a black person it is racial no matter what the black person was doing. If a black officer shoots a white person he is just doing his job ? TRUTHFULLY , How about when a white person is killed by the police. It does happen more often than you would think. No one gives a crap about that. (1)> It was not even clear why Gray was arrested on April 12. He made eye contact with a police officer, according to the city, and took off running — with police in pursuit.Gray had had minor drug offenses and other scrapes with the law, according to reports, but he was not wanted at the time of this arrest. He also had a switchblade in his pocket but, as Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake later said, "We know that having a knife is not necessarily a crime."When he arrived at the police station about a half hour after he was arrested, he was unable to talk or breathe, a police official told reporters. He died a week later of a spinal injury.(2)> COPS-TV SHOW . viewers tune in weekly to "ride along" with police and root against a rotating cast of nameless — sometimes faceless — street crime suspects.9 With such a narrow range of Black characters and personalities in prime time, the negative perceptions and distorted images presented by shows like COPS create an atmosphere of suspicion that desensitizes and conditions audiences to view harsher punishments and police misconduct — including police brutality and unconstitutional searches — as acceptable.the COPS formula — which relies heavily on degradation and mockery of suspects, presumption of guilt, and audience identification with unfailingly “good guy” police protagonists — hasn’t changed a bit, despite a marked, bipartisan shift away from broken “tough on crime” policies in recent years.5 The show’s creator himself admits that COPS’ singular focus on making arrests, particularly for nonviolent drug offenses, wastes scarce public resources and contributes to massive over incarceration

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