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July 21, 2020 06:56 AM UTC

Tuesday Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

“Ridicule dishonors a man more than dishonor does.”

–Francois de La Rochefoucauld


22 thoughts on “Tuesday Open Thread

  1. Police Unions

    The voters and taxpayers of Portland do not elect police union representatives.

    Although Portland leadership (elected by the voters and taxpayeres) roundly decried the federal presence, the president of Portland’s police union met with the head of the Department of Homeland Security last week to discuss the agents, apparently without the knowledge of the city’s police chief. The president of Chicago’s police union made his own envoys, asking Trump for federal intervention. 

    What’s needed is an immediate funding reset to remind police who, according to their oaths,  they are supposed to serve and protect.

    1. I have a suspicion. It appears police unions across the country are being led by hard-line, force prone leaders who are operating on their own. I smell the influence of the NRA.

      1. I think the NRA may have set the table, but over the past 2 or 3 years, they've had too many other things going on to really push for more "force prone" union leaders.

        Union leaders emerge to match the overall cultural preferences of the officers.  Like many negotiating units, they seek to find those who will maximize rewards (pay, working conditions) and minimize risks (disputes and discipline). Gung ho, street-smart tactics (instead of command strategy) seems to be favored in many union elections — and once in power, they may gravitate to win friends among the politicians and other law enforcement officials willing to take their side.

        1. "street-smart tactics (instead of command strategy)"

          It's neither. You have to consider what they perceive their bargaining chips to be.

          Dump is capitalizing on their record of 'blood and glass in the streets'. 

          This is how qualified immunity evolved.

      2. Duke, the NRA and firearms industries do have a stake in promoting this mindset of police being “at war” with the people, as detailed in the “Warrior Cop” article that kickshot linked to. 

        Bur for the ideological  roots of this white-supremacist, us-or-them, 2nd Amendment worshipping justification for force, look to the CSPOA. That’s theConstitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers of America. The CSPOA claims  that the Reconstruction era Posse Comitatus law in  elevates the county sheriffs as the arbiter of laws in their counties. They do not have to enforce Federal laws with which they disagree. Legal scholar Polsters, please opine: wouldn’t the Posse Comitatus law also specifically prohibit the anonymous Federal “PACT” storm troopers in Portland now?

        CSPOA’s Chief, Richard Mack, responded to protests on the murder of George Floyd  with a video on the CSPOA site reminding members to uphold their oaths to serve and protect, and not disregard the Constitutional rights of the public by beating the snot out of them. 
        Forgive me if I see that as a low bar.

        CSPOA propaganda, which goes out to its 400 Sheriffs and 5,000 some members, includes every QAnon , Muslim-bashing , immigrant-hating idea or conspiracy theory that Epoch Times, Trump TV and Beitbart  churns out. 

        In Colorado, Terry “”shower selfie” Maketa was a member. So are red-flag-order-defying Weld County Sheriffs John Cooke and Steve Reams, and Yuma’s billionaire-deputizing Chad Day. I have links to these sources- if you want to see them-ask. 

        Police Unions are necessary- people should be able to organize and support each other in one of the most dangerous and stressful lines of work. But unions should not be able to cover up abuse, nor block investigations. Imagine if the teacher’s union had some version of “qualified immunity” and “need to know”. 

        If teachers said, yeah, x teacher abused or killed a kid, but the public can’t know the details,  nor know the outcome of the case, nor pursue criminal or civil charges, because teachers are above the law. Imagine the public outcry. 


        1. wouldn’t the Posse Comitatus law also specifically prohibit the anonymous Federal “PACT” storm troopers in Portland now?

          Unfortunately, the federal statute you've referenced doesn't even arguably apply to this mess.

          The real question: how come the NRA hasn't risen up against a tyrannical government? Surely they just forgot. A gentle reminder, and our well-regulated militia will no doubt restore our freedoms lickity split.

  2. Just last weekend, 70 people were shot in Chicago, 10 fatally. Monday, 25 more shootings, three fatal.

    And you’re certain it’s the cops that are the problem?

    Unfortunately, Black lives don’t seem to matter to black criminals.

    In killings where the race of both victim and shooter is known, there were 6,095 black on black killings in 2015.  In 2016, a total of 268 Blacks were killed by police of all races — in the vast majority of which the shooting was clearly justified.

    Police aren’t perfect and a few need to be fired or even imprisoned.

    But a Black person is 25 times more likely to be killed by another Black person than by a cop.

    All lives won’t matter until we find a way to protect Black lives from Black killers.

    And defunding the police is clearly not the answer.

    1. You honestly can’t pretend to believe, for even a moment, that Ttump is now sending his Brownshirts and Sturmabteilung to Chicago, or anywhere else, to stop shootings??

      1. Trump ain't sending help to Chicago.  He's sending Brownshirts to Portland where the protesters are mostly peaceful.

        Kwtree: I'm no expert on posse comitatus, other than to note there is a quagmire of misinformation on it in the far right.

        But generally it bans the use of federal troops — Army, Navy, Marine, Air Force, for domestic law enforcement.

        FBI, U.S. Marshals, etc are not covered.  Trump seems to be using these forces.  There are issues of jurisdiction and, above all, failure of local officials to request such "help" but those agencies are designed for law enforcement and fall outside the ban.  

        There are also times, like when LBJ sent the 101 airborne to quell bloody riots in Detroit, when the restrictions don't apply.

  3. What is the failure of the Chicago PD to keep the streets in the neighborhoods where this hyper-localized violence occurs safe?  Most of these shootings are gang-related respect killings or territorial disputes and police seem helpless to stop this.  We've poured billions into combating gang violence through militarized police tactics, the drug war, mass incarceration, etc.  Where are  the results in breaking these cycles of violence via policing and the justice system?

    The existing tools in the box aren't working, it's time to look for new ones.

    1. Obviously, Wong, anti-cop bigots have no answers.

      But as Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot notes, among more conventional causes, "There are just too many guns on the streets."

       Blame the Second Amendment if you like, but felons and minors have no right to own guns.

      We need to police the hell out of high-violence neighborhoods.  Yes, sometimes that means stop and frisk, to take away the guns.   Some of the resulting arrests may not be prosecutable because of lack of probable cause — but you can still keep the guns.

      We need more and better cops.   And we need to support them, not the gangs.

      1. Confiscating 70 firearms isn't going to do anything- there's still ~400 million to replace them and a grey market where anyone can get a gun no matter what.  Getting guns off the street isn't a problem that law enforcement can solve short of nuking the US and that's still outside of their abilities.  It's not a solvable problem simply by confiscating firearms.

        Neighborhoods aren't high-violence because of guns, guns are just an effective and pervasive way of applying the violence that's caused by underlying conditions (systemic multi-generational poverty and mass incarceration being the biggest two) that law enforcement doesn't address.  We've got to address these underlying issues and if it takes a 10-20% cut to police budgets (I'd prefer to avoid that) to get the ball rolling, that's what it takes.

        1. How about cutting farm subsidies and raising taxes?  The pentagon could stand a trim.  And eliminate the tax breaks on capital gains.  And, yeah cut out mucho pf the drug war and redeploy those cops mot real needs.

          Buit nobody is taking confiscating 70 firearms, Wong — the was just one weeks shooting in one city.  Take the guns away from every felon and every one under 18.

    2. An important comment, that. The arrest and incarcerate solution was never the answer, but it is a great profit maker. I directed a Boys Clubs of America branch back before integration and the name change. There I saw, first hand, the societal and behavioral reasons for the violence. 

      Things need to change. Fundamental things.

        1. Well, kicky, 70 shootings in one weekend in one city is pretty fundamental too. Wring your hands and pray for a perfect society if you will.  I want to put 70 goons behind bars where they can't shoot more victims.  

          That's a start.


          1. It’s nice that you want those 70 murderers were behind bars. Why do you think the police can do that? Or even if they can that they would actually do it? The police are not a Green Lantern Power Ring where all that is needed is enough “willpower” to do anything you “want” bad enough. They’re also not robots that just follow the programing of the city council, they’re a big organization full of lots of different people with different goals and motivations.

            Police are part of a system that needs the trust of people that they will be safe in testifying and reporting crimes to work. One of the fundamental things broken in Chicago is that people are afraid to talk to the police.

            If you actually wanted murders arrested you would want police and justice reform. What I think you actually want is to sound tough without actually having to do anything hard or uncomfortable.

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