Trouble in the tragic kingdom
July 25, 2012 4:15 PM   Subscribe

Last Saturday Anaheim police shot Manuel Diaz as he fled from questioning. Neighborhood residents approached the police and recorded the scene of the shooting. As tempers rose, the police attempted to control the situation. This did not go well. On Sunday, many people joined a protest at the Anaheim police department held weekly since 2010. On the same day, Anaheim police shot and killed Joel Acevedo, during an arrest for a stolen car. Further protests at the Anaheim City Council meeting on Tuesday turned violent with some protestors throwing rocks and smashing windows.

Young Turks report
Democracy Now! report
posted by eurypteris (76 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
I clicked "This did not go well" and got, as an ad before the video, the trailer for a movie called "Hit and Run."

Good job on that targeted marketing, Youtube.
posted by koeselitz at 4:20 PM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Can't get this song out of my head.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:25 PM on July 25, 2012


There need to be personal consequences for cops who shoot people unnecessarily. Especially when the system is doing its best to protect them.
posted by dunkadunc at 4:26 PM on July 25, 2012 [12 favorites]


Thank gawd for the camera phone, and here's hoping that someday soon our public servants will know that they're always being watched. Enjoy your panopticon, boys.
posted by biochemicle at 4:28 PM on July 25, 2012 [14 favorites]


I don't care if you're a cop, and I don't care if you're using less than lethal weapons. You're surrounded by backup, you have all the legal and physical protection that the demonstrators don't, and if you're firing into a crowd of families, children, infants, you're a piece of shit.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 4:28 PM on July 25, 2012 [52 favorites]


Good point, biochemicle. I don't know if you caught it, but at the end of the clip from the second link, the reported mentions that people said the police were offering to buy the video from phones.
posted by eurypteris at 4:40 PM on July 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


The Anaheim city government has been surprisingly responsive to the people here. Rather than circling the wagons and undertaking an "internal investigation", the mayor has reached out to the FBI and US Attorney's office to launch an independent external investigation. I think there's the real potential for the guilty parties in the police force to be brought to justice here.
posted by mr_roboto at 4:40 PM on July 25, 2012 [13 favorites]


That's a nice change for once. Normally the cops' response is in line with something Eric Cartman would say.
posted by dunkadunc at 4:42 PM on July 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


So, in the first incident, the cops unleashed a dog on a mother holding her baby, and shot a kid with rubber bullets (you can see his friends carrying him away in the video). How much do you want to bet that none of the officers responsible will be fired or charged?
posted by Dasein at 4:43 PM on July 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


Thank gawd for the camera phone, and here's hoping that someday soon our public servants will know that they're always being watched. Enjoy your panopticon, boys.

Yeah, how'd that work out again for LA in '92? With Big Money and Big Spin to back them, the cops get away with a shitload, panopticon or not.
posted by O Blitiri at 4:49 PM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


What are people thinking when they start firing into a crowd of families? Just, what? Cripes, when I was a preteen the local law enforcement agencies ran a summer day camp teaching kids things like "and this is why we need to wear 6" of padding when training the dogs," and the very clear message was that even so-called non-lethal force was pretty damned dangerous.
posted by VelveteenBabbitt at 4:50 PM on July 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


When does it become self-defense to fire back at cops who are indiscriminately shooting at your family, less-than-lethal rounds notwithstanding? Or siccing attack dogs on infants? Never?
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 5:32 PM on July 25, 2012 [9 favorites]


If you're lucky then you might be cleared of all charges posthumously.
posted by ODiV at 5:44 PM on July 25, 2012 [14 favorites]


Purposeful Grimace: Well, since the people who enforce the laws are the ones being resisted, I would suggest that their answer will always be 'never'. This is true of every government in history, probably, from Norway to Syria to Stalin's Russia.

Typically, overriding that ban on any kind of widespread scale has profound and lasting consequences.
posted by Malor at 5:44 PM on July 25, 2012


Blitiri, your point is well-taken, but I don't think that anyone would know who Rodney King was if not for amateur video. And if the evidence is damning enough (clear, and from enough angles, etc.), you might even see some of these assholes getting a fair trial. (Or not)

Cops should welcome this too, since I'm sure some of the good ones are sick of covering for / being lumped in with the bad. Since they won't police themselves as a profession, and the courts won't do it, and journalism is having an off decade, then I guess it's up to YouTube.
posted by biochemicle at 5:53 PM on July 25, 2012 [2 favorites]




The Anaheim city government has been surprisingly responsive to the people here. Rather than circling the wagons and undertaking an "internal investigation", the mayor has reached out to the FBI and US Attorney's office to launch an independent external investigation. I think there's the real potential for the guilty parties in the police force to be brought to justice here.


It's funny, I was just having a conversation with someone today about how we were sure that the FBI would just find the cops innocent of wrongdoing and that the investigation would mostly serve to take the heat off Anaheim until the media forgets. I view these external investigations as posturing, pretty much. Cops are hardly ever found guilty of wrongdoing and there's intense loyalty between law-enforcement types.

I actually wanted to share this story on metafilter. It's linked from tumblr, a guy recounting how he came home to find that the cops had shot a young neighbor in the back of the head while he was cuffed on his parents' porch.

This led me to think about how terrible and traumatizing - how terrorizing - it must be to live in a community where the cops are fucking executing several unarmed people each year. (And it's happening, a steady trickle of killings, only most of them barely make the papers.) The effect on your family! The effect on your kids! The effect of growing up to know that the cops can gun you down while you're complying with their instructions and never be called to account. No one should have to live like that, just coming home and witnessing something like this.

I just don't know what to do. I've been part of a bunch of campaigns to make the police accountable for this shit over the years, and they never are. They "investigate", they insult the family and the deceased, they lie like fucking rugs, the police union comes out for them, and the killers sit behind a desk until the media attention blows over and then they're back on the streets. They are so well insulated behind popular patriotism and ignorance and the American bully mentality that it is impossible to get through.
posted by Frowner at 5:53 PM on July 25, 2012 [31 favorites]


"Police exist primarily to protect property arrangements. The war on drugs has paramilitarized police, with a heavy emphasis on overwhelming force. While police have always considered themselves above the common herd, and have always looked after themselves first and civilians second, it’s very clear that police today are much worse in this regard than they were 10 years ago, and 10 years before that, and 10 years before that. Police are well aware that they have near full immunity: they can beat people, kill people, plant evidence on people and they will, in most cases, get away with it. Even if caught on tape, the worst punishment is likely to be paid suspension."
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:58 PM on July 25, 2012 [12 favorites]


This is just too terrible for words, and why haven't I heard about it on the national news? This happened a week ago!
posted by Pocahontas at 6:11 PM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


The war on drugs has paramilitarized police

actually, that would be the "war on terror"...
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 6:13 PM on July 25, 2012


It can't be both?
posted by VTX at 6:21 PM on July 25, 2012 [5 favorites]


It is definitely both.
posted by howfar at 6:31 PM on July 25, 2012 [5 favorites]


actually, that would be the "war on terror"...

Cops were killing grandmas in no-knock raids long before 9/11.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:31 PM on July 25, 2012 [9 favorites]


I keep seeing threads like this one on the blue, over and over. It's probably my brain playing tricks on me, but it seems as though this type of event is happening with more and more frequency. Do police officers ever get punished for abusing their power? Can anyone point me to an example in, say, the last twenty years or so where a police officer brutalized or killed someone unnecessarily, and was arrested, tried, convicted?

Do public protests work? Lawsuits? Is there any legal, reasonable, non-violent solution that has ever met with real success? I define success as 'guilty police officer(s) loses job permanently, and goes to jail for more than a token amount of time'.
posted by KHAAAN! at 6:34 PM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't know how true it is, but here in Los Angeles some point to an epic bank robbery in the valley where police were massively outgunned as the point where shit got paramilitaristic for real.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 6:41 PM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't know how true it is, but here in Los Angeles some point to an epic bank robbery in the valley where police were massively outgunned as the point where shit got paramilitaristic for real.

Nope. Paramilitarization of police forces was connected with the drug war - full stop. It took off seriously in the 80's. And the entire spectrum of the buffoonery is on full view - the bragging police chief, the clearly unnecessary nature of the show of force, the complete overkill, and the boondoggle of wrong target. Perfect illustration - the introduction of a TANK - yes, you read it right, a TANK into the arsenal of the LAPD, a.k.a "The Battering Ram" - see the LATimes story and note the date (my bolding in the story below):

The New Battering Ram

February 13, 1985

"Drug addiction and drug trafficking are undoubtedly among society's most intractable and debilitating problems. They have resisted all efforts by law enforcement. Drug use seems to increase no matter what is done. In frustration, the Los Angeles Police Department has now unveiled a new weapon in the fight. The police call it a motorized battering ram, but everyone else calls it a tank. As demonstrated last week, it can knock down the wall of a house, catch the occupants by surprise and prevent them from destroying evidence. But at what cost to the rights of individuals?

One night last week, with great fanfare, the police employed their motorized battering ram to break into a house in Pacoima that they suspected was a well-fortified center of drug dealing. Police Chief Daryl F. Gates was so proud of the event that he personally christened the new tank and then rode inside it, while cameras rolled, as it did its dirty work. Afterward he boasted that the battering ram went through the wall "like butter," and the police swat team was inside the house in six seconds.

As things turned out, there was no evidence that the place was a major "rock house." The occupants included two women and three children, some of whom were eating ice cream when the police showed up. Despite their claims of having bought drugs earlier in the house, the police appear to have picked the wrong place to try out their new toy. A simple knock on the door would have gained them entry.

The police have a job to do, and many people believe that they should be given all the tools to do it. But as usual the rights of individuals must be balanced against the rights of the group. Gates says that the tank is nothing more than an extension of the manual battering rams that have long been a standard part of the police arsenal. We think that it is a military weapon having little place in an urban environment, and we think that the police exercised insufficient care and attention in putting it to use last week. Those who argue that innocent people have nothing to fear should look again at what happened in Pacoima."

And there you have it. 1985, War On Drugs, military weapons and seen as such by the whole society at the time.

So yeah, it's down to the WOD - no question.
posted by VikingSword at 6:53 PM on July 25, 2012 [14 favorites]


KHAAAN!: "Do public protests work? Lawsuits? Is there any legal, reasonable, non-violent solution that has ever met with real success? I define success as 'guilty police officer(s) loses job permanently, and goes to jail for more than a token amount of time'."

This government is not representing the interests of its people. It's representing its own interests, and maintaining a policy of 'omerta'.

We want a new government.
posted by dunkadunc at 7:02 PM on July 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


1985 was also the year that Philadelphia police firebombed an entire fucking city block, killing 11 people, to dislodge a group of anarchists.
posted by Flashman at 7:04 PM on July 25, 2012 [10 favorites]


..
posted by cashman at 7:08 PM on July 25, 2012


Neighborhood residents approached the police and recorded the scene of the shooting. As tempers rose, the police attempted to control the situation. This did not go well.

It didn't go well because when offered to buy the phones with the video, the people recording refused to sell.

If the market had not failed - it would have went well.

http://blog.alexanderhiggins.com/2012/07/23/anaheim-police-face-evidencebuying-claims-cover-fatal-shootings-150151/
posted by rough ashlar at 7:08 PM on July 25, 2012


I keep seeing threads like this one on the blue, over and over.

Really?

The police in America are over and over shooting citizens with projectiles?
posted by rough ashlar at 7:10 PM on July 25, 2012


Is there an Android video/camera app that doesn't show a viewfinder on the screen? In the case I have to document shit like this, I'd like to be able to do so nonchalantly without people immediately knowing what I'm doing and my phone being destroyed/confiscated as 'evidence' and dissappeared.
posted by dunkadunc at 7:11 PM on July 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also, it would have been a riot if someone had shot the cop's dog for a change.
posted by dunkadunc at 7:13 PM on July 25, 2012


Stark contrast in LA news coverage
posted by homunculus at 7:16 PM on July 25, 2012


When does it become self-defense to fire back at cops

Odds are never - but ask:

What is the local conviction rate where you live? Is it 90% 99.7% At what point does a conviction rate become a police state?
posted by rough ashlar at 7:27 PM on July 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


1985 was also the year that Philadelphia police firebombed an entire fucking city block, killing 11 people, to dislodge a group of anarchists.

Well, okay, that's just wrong. They didn't "firebomb" anything, certainly not a city block. Fireboming is where you drop incendiary devices to try to set off a fire. They dropped C4 on a fortified bunker after being shot at by a group of armed criminals who has barricaded themselves in an urban area. It resulted in a fire, and it might not have the right course of action, but that doesn't mean you can lie about it when presenting the facts.
posted by Dasein at 7:32 PM on July 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


Cops are gangsters with per-emotive legal immunity.
posted by spitbull at 7:42 PM on July 25, 2012


Per-emptive, dammit.
posted by spitbull at 7:42 PM on July 25, 2012


PRE... My iPad spellcheck seems to have a problem with outrage.

Crips, Bloods, and Blues.
posted by spitbull at 7:44 PM on July 25, 2012



Good point, biochemicle. I don't know if you caught it, but at the end of the clip from the second link, the reported mentions that people said the police were offering to buy the video from phones.
posted by eurypteris at 4:40 PM on July 25 [1 favorite +] [!]


This doesn't at all surprise me. While I was living in Chicago, a really good friend of mine resurrected the local Copwatch for the poor neighborhood he resided in. They did a lot of community outreach-canvassing and open meetings, know your rights training, passing out flyers and such. They were well known within the community. One night they were taping a stop for "suspicious behavior" or some other such bullshit, and were approached by the young guy that got stopped. He told them that the cop had offered him a free ride if he went over to "the guys with the videorecorder" and beat them up and took the tape. Fortunately he had refused, knowing who they were and liking what they were doing. It could have just as easily ended terribly.
posted by FirstMateKate at 7:54 PM on July 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Is there an Android video/camera app that doesn't show a viewfinder on the screen?

This site has a few apps for secretly taking photos and video on Android (Spy Camera, Call Cam Spy Lite, Ultimate Spy Camera, Spy Phone). You can also use Secret Videos to encrypt video files on your phone. I have no idea how well any of these work, so caveat emptor.
posted by eurypteris at 7:56 PM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yesterday in Dallas:

Police shot and killed a man in south Dallas on Tuesday, prompting a tense situation with hundreds of angry, emotional neighbors.

Word of the shooting quickly spread through the neighborhood as family members and the curious rushed to the scene, eventually amassing in the hundreds and prompting police to call for additional crowd control, including SWAT. In fact, officers armed with pepper ball guns and shields forced the crowd back amid reports of people trying to cut through fences to gain access to the shooting scene.
posted by mediated self at 8:00 PM on July 25, 2012


Always be ready to give the police a good kicking.

These are people who think they deserve to the right to tell us what we can and cannot do. Worse, they are people who think they deserve to have the right to tell us what their bosses say we can and cannot do. This makes them deeply suspect people with a highly questionable sense of morality and decency. They should always be treated accordingly. A good police force is a cowed, obedient, blandly yet efficiently functional police force. They must always be our servants, not our masters.
posted by Decani at 8:19 PM on July 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


How to take video of police. You can use Openwatch to upload video live and anonymously.
posted by figment of my conation at 8:22 PM on July 25, 2012 [10 favorites]


I have just seen a video of police shooting into a crowd of women and children, and setting a dog on a woman carrrying an infant.

I'm shaking.
posted by Catch at 8:29 PM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Police Chief Daryl F. Gates

And right there is the name of the man responsible for turning Police Officers ( of the Law ) into paramilitary troops.
posted by mikelieman at 8:43 PM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


FBI to review Anaheim police shooting amid unrest
posted by homunculus at 8:47 PM on July 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


So the other day I was in the Starbucks in Peachtree City, the wealthy and very white Atlanta exurb where I currently live (although not for much longer). I was heading towards the line at the counter, when this police officer came in. This middle-aged white guy with two kids ahead of me immediately started insisting on buying the policeman a latte, and when the policeman tried to say no, the guy-- no joke-- gave a speech about how much he respected The Officers of the Law, and how they Risked their Lives Protecting Our Community, and he wanted to help them and respect them in any way he can. Included buying expensive lattes.

I know this guy meant well, but it was so weirdly, fawningly subservient that it struck me as being a bit creepy.

The policeman, looking amused/bemused (it was hard to tell) said sure. I just stood there thinking, Man, I'd never see this back in LA. First of all, policemen never really went into Starbucks; and if they did, people would be polite but not... acting in the way that guy did.

Given the behavior of the LAPD-- everyone I knew, regardless of race, was wary of them-- I am not surprised.
posted by suburbanbeatnik at 8:54 PM on July 25, 2012


The police in America are over and over shooting citizens with projectiles?

What I meant was, it seems like various police forces throughout the United States keep brutalizing and killing people with zero repercussions.

Just off the top of my head, there's this current situation, there was BART police shooting Oscar Grant ( while unarmed and being held immobile by other police officers at the time ), the security officers macing peaceful, nonviolent protesters in the face at UC Davis ( I suppose these weren't 'real' cops, but when they were decked out in full riot gear, it was kind of hard for me to tell ), and then there is the Zimmerman shooting of Trayvon Martin. ( Zimmerman wasn't a police officer obviously, but I've read that he very much wanted to be one, and the police involved there engaged in a very leisurely initial investigation, to say the least. )
If any police officers involved in those incidents have permanently lost their jobs and have been tried and sentenced to jail time roughly equal to non-police officers committing the same sorts of crimes, I'd like to hear about it.
posted by KHAAAN! at 9:14 PM on July 25, 2012


(Aside re: Philadelphia police raid on the Move commune in 1985. In the version I heard, from a Move member, Move was stockpiling some weapons, based on such sentiments as expressed above, of "when do we get to defend ourselves?" Philadelphia police were already well on their way to militarization, and didn't exactly have a stellar record in the race relations department in the yrars leading up to this. They raided the commune. Some commune members used their weapons to try to fend off the cops. Cops launched incendiary devices to try to force the people shooting at them to stop and force everyone holed up inside to come out and get arrested. They also shot at Move members as they were exiting the burning building. And prevented the fire department from trying to put out the fire before it had consumed said city block, merely for the tactical advantage it gave them. I do not believe that Move considered themselves anarchists.)
posted by eviemath at 9:55 PM on July 25, 2012 [8 favorites]


grar anarchists!

grar
posted by dunkadunc at 9:59 PM on July 25, 2012


there was BART police shooting Oscar Grant...and then there is the Zimmerman shooting of Trayvon Martin

For values of "zero repercussions" which include someone being found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and being under current investigation by the feds for more charges and a guy facing trial for murder. I do not think those words mean what you think they mean.
posted by Justinian at 10:20 PM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, how'd that work out again for LA in '92? With Big Money and Big Spin to back them, the cops get away with a shitload, panopticon or not.

Those particular cops did go to jail for 30 months....
posted by mr_roboto at 10:48 PM on July 25, 2012


Speaking of lack of repercussions... though I guess the guy did resign.
posted by litlnemo at 12:04 AM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I just don't know what to do.

So yeah, it's down to the WOD - no question.

Personally one thing that I know I can do is jury nullification. It may not seem like much, but if we all did it, the voice of the people would be undeniable.

My brother has been a victim of police gone wild - thankfully he's still around, but he has been traumatized. He lived for a while in a particularly low-income part of the bay area in California, and he stupidly drove a very recognizable vehicle. He wasn't very far away when the BART cops shot that Oscar guy in the back while he was on the ground. Many - most - people where my brother lived weren't as lucky as he was to be white and have some steady income. Unlike most of them, he knew a bit about his rights and this of course made him even more of a target for these cops. He had cops enter his house on two occasions with no warrant, once with dogs and at gunpoint, yet no drugs or weapons or anything else incriminating was ever found. One officer planting a bag of weed could have forever changed my brother's life, with no recourse, ever. We're thankful to this day that it didn't happen, but he can't live in the town he once lived in any more, and he even had to change his name to safely stay in the state, because of personal threats that cops (cops!) made on his life.

My brother is lucky. Many other people like these guys in Anaheim aren't so lucky - instead they get shot and killed, often for little or nothing at all. Maybe Manuel Diaz was doing something wrong, or maybe he was just running from the cops that he apparently very justifiably was living in fear of.

If I was a resident of Anaheim, I'd be rioting too. They need to clean house in the police department from top to bottom - send a message. Cops that do this kind of thing should never be in law enforcement again, ever. Many cities in America need this today. If people don't take extreme action now, they will see things get worse and it will become harder to turn them around down the road.
posted by allkindsoftime at 12:09 AM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sorry, oneswellfoop, this is the song I will always associate with Disneyland, and, now, especially the Anaheim PD: The Mouseketeers-Mickey Mouse Club Opening March 1977.

But don't get me wrong, Anaheim appears to be trying to make things right. My only question is: (and it's largely rhetorical) don't they have any people of color in any positions of authority?

I haven't had a chance to read through all the comments,so give me some time. Since things have appeared to have calmed down, I am hoping for the best.

Cheers,
Peter
posted by pjmoy at 1:53 AM on July 26, 2012


Enjoy your panopticon, boys.
The purpose of a panopticon was to allow a single guard to monitor many inmates without the inmates being aware that they are monitored. What you are talking about is pretty much the opposite: many inmates can monitor a guard without the guard being aware. In a competition to find a suitable label for this metaphor the word "synopticon" was suggested.
posted by rongorongo at 2:58 AM on July 26, 2012 [5 favorites]


The English riots of last summer started because they shot a guy during an arrest and immediately initiated a coverup and kept the family and community in the dark while leaking lies to the press.

That's what happens when a community is repeatedly treated like this. Eventually the blow up.
posted by srboisvert at 5:10 AM on July 26, 2012


But don't get me wrong, Anaheim appears to be trying to make things right. My only question is: (and it's largely rhetorical) don't they have any people of color in any positions of authority?


I'm sure some of the janitors at Disneyland have a Hispanic foreman.
posted by ocschwar at 6:01 AM on July 26, 2012


The purpose of a panopticon was to allow a single guard to monitor many inmates without the inmates being aware that they are monitored.

The key to Bentham's idea, however, was that no inmate would know when they are not being monitored. Behaviour modification is intended to be achieved by the possibility of being observed and punished.

The first element, possible observation, applies to everyone in modern society, including people in positions of authority; anyone could be filming anything at any time. However, the second element, possible punishment, is largely missing in relation to the recorded actions of police officers, seemingly in the US as well as here in the UK. The pictures are released to the press, there is a great hue and cry for a few days, then the vested interests of everyone in power allow the whole thing to fizzle out. We see the same pattern year after year.

Until both the possibility of observation and the possibility of punishment are realities for police officers, it is unlikely that we will see the civil benefits of a panopticon model, regardless of the terminology we adopt.
posted by howfar at 6:32 AM on July 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


I don't know how true it is, but here in Los Angeles some point to an epic bank robbery in the valley where police were massively outgunned as the point where shit got paramilitaristic for real.

The Police had access to tactical shotguns, and have had them since the introduction of squadcars. A 12ga shotgun will shred most body armor. They panicked and relied on their side-arms, or ran off to buy assault rifles from a local gun shop, not thinking the situation through. Poor training on how to react to emergencies and how to work together tactically as police was to blame there, not a lack of firepower or military training. So, of course they went paramilitary - looks butch, and it's easier than doing the right thing.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:36 AM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


The name of the deceased in Frowner's story is Michael Deangelo Laney.

And related, the video of the arrest of Dion Lewis (NFL player) just came out today.
posted by cashman at 7:45 AM on July 26, 2012


For values of "zero repercussions" which include someone being found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and being under current investigation by the feds for more charges and a guy facing trial for murder. I do not think those words mean what you think they mean.

Fmr BART cop Johannes Mehserle did spent time in cage for putting a round into Oscar Grant's back than Michael Vick did for dogfighting. That Mehserle was convicted of anything was/is looked at as a victory.

This is a fact that is not easily forgotten in Oakland, where the police are --><-- this far from being put into Federal receivership (a first in American policing history) because they fundamentally are unable/unwilling to follow the crowd control/use of force guidelines established A DECADE AGO after OPD got trigger happy at an anti-war protest.

So yeah, some communities do actually feel that the cops can shoot and kill people without and get away with it.

Because so fucking many fawning lickspittles get a warm feeling in their shorts when they buy the "Heroes In Blue" a fucking latte for protecting them and their from teh poorz and their evil, thieving violence.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 7:47 AM on July 26, 2012


"Every newborn baby is a little savage." -- Daryl Gates
posted by blucevalo at 11:00 AM on July 26, 2012


But don't get me wrong, Anaheim appears to be trying to make things right. My only question is: (and it's largely rhetorical) don't they have any people of color in any positions of authority?

For a city with as large a Hispanic population as Anaheim (I think it's over 50%), the city government is shockingly white. There's an Indian guy on the city council, but other than that....
posted by mr_roboto at 12:43 PM on July 26, 2012


I grew up the the idea of the friendly policeman who was there to protect and serve.

Now they're not quite as friendly, but they do exist to protect and maintain the status quo and serve the rich. The country's going to the dogs, people are unhappy, but we now have an active paramilitary. Guess where this is heading?
posted by BlueHorse at 2:46 PM on July 26, 2012


The Onion: Anaheim Police Chief John Welter: 'Look, Our Job Is To Shoot People'
posted by Daddy-O at 6:04 PM on July 26, 2012


Scenes From Militarized America

NYT Photos Don't Do Justice to Police Presence at Anaheim Protests
posted by homunculus at 1:56 PM on August 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


pocahontas asked: why haven't I heard about it on the national news? This happened a week ago.
I think part of the problem is that most of America doesn't care if this comment is anything to go by; when I asked in another thread, whose FPP had a sidebar link directly to this.
WTF is happening in Anaheim? and the only reply was
someone found a che guevara flag in his grandfather's attic?
i know why they're protesting and it should be protested - but, really ...

I think police abuse of power is becoming so much the norm that it is becoming almost acceptable. From comments here and elsewhere it certainly isn't surprising.
It takes something completely outrageous to make the citizenry push back and eventhen there is seldom any accountability and yet people sneer when the F word is mentioned.
Let's just call it the benign dictatorship of unaccountable democracy.
posted by adamvasco at 1:29 AM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


NYT Photos Don't Do Justice to Police Presence at Anaheim Protests

I wanted to comment on the social work that goes into maintaining the illusion of benign police presence...via anecdote, naturally:

Back right after the Seattle anti-WTO protests in 1999, there were a bunch of solidarity protests around the country. In Minneapolis, they coincided with a large and militant hotel workers' strike and with May 1. I was at one of these protests and took a bunch of photos of police beating people down. I had several rolls of film to be developed, the one from the protest and a couple of others. I took them to the Target film developer. (God, how much better digital is.) And they lost all record of the roll with pictures of the police on it. Nope, I hadn't dropped off three rolls, I'd dropped off two. Must be my mistake.

The person developing the film had seen the evidence of police brutality and had, off his own bat, decided to "protect" the police from consequences by disappearing my film.

Admittedly, it was foolish not to have had a friend develop those pictures - but I was a lot younger then and it never occurred to me that someone would be so dishonest in the face of proof of police brutality. It never occurred to me that ideology would be used that directly and intentionally to destroy evidence.

But it was!

And that's the thing - it's no coincidence when the NYT or someone chooses only "innocent" photos - it's not just that they are 'better' pictures, or that the NYT photo people are ignorant. It's an ideological decision to create a sanitized image of the cops.
posted by Frowner at 7:17 AM on August 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


Fury Reveals Deep Rifts Near ‘Happiest Place on Earth’
posted by homunculus at 12:28 PM on August 3, 2012


Ick. That NYTimes article is strongly misleading. Consider:

- Exhibit A:
There have been days of protests, at times violent, with the police responding in combat gear and placing sharpshooters to guard their headquarters.
This strongly implies that the residents of Anaheim turned violent and then the police responded, rather than the other way around. And it's the lede.

- Exhibit B:
Like most of the City Council, Mayor Tom Tait lives in Anaheim Hills. Last week, he asked federal investigators to look into the Police Department’s practices. This week, trying to grapple with how the city could move on, he called a meeting with executives from Disney, as well as the Los Angeles Angels and the Anaheim Ducks, asking them to help come up with programs to help the most struggling neighborhoods in the city.

In those neighborhoods, the mostly Latino residents have grappled with unemployment, poverty, crime and gangs for years. Now, suddenly, those longstanding problems are being thrust into wider view.

“The problem is in that in some of these neighborhoods, there’s really a lack of hope from people, and they turn to gangs and crime,” said Mr. Tait, who has lived in the city since 1988. “We need people to go into the areas that lack hope and find ways to help.”
No reasons, background, or elaboration is given on why the mayor is calling for an investigation of the police department. Instead, blame is put on the poor Latino residents: apparently they are the ones who need to change, through helpful programs. I'm sure helpful programs are helpful, but that's kind of beside the point when the resident/police conflict is over excessive police violence.

It is useful that the article brings up the significant wealth disparity across different neighborhoods in Anaheim. At least one can read between the lines and draw some conclusions about the root causes of the police violence. The quotes at the end are particularly revealing about the attitude of Anaheim police toward the Latino residents (racism much?), as well as what they see there job as. Another paragraph near the end explores a little bit more of the history of problems between the Anaheim police and the city's Latino community. Burying these details at the end really skews the story, though.
posted by eviemath at 11:41 PM on August 3, 2012


Anaheim and the Disney-Style Rebranding of Deadly Police Violence
posted by homunculus at 12:09 PM on August 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


History of Anaheim's Thin Blue Line
posted by homunculus at 12:56 PM on August 12, 2012


In other news: SWAT Raid Roundup
posted by homunculus at 1:02 PM on August 12, 2012


eviemath: "Ick. That NYTimes article is strongly misleading."

Despite what some say, The New York Times is the paper of the oppressor.
posted by dunkadunc at 9:08 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


When does it become self-defense to fire back at cops who are indiscriminately shooting at your family, less-than-lethal rounds notwithstanding? Or siccing attack dogs on infants? Never?

There is a fair amount of case law establishing a right to use force, including deadly force, when resisting an unlawful arrest.

I would be curious if anyone has ever argued a right to return fire when being unlawfully fired on by the police. I believe there have been some cases when people have fired on the police during a raid on their house and claimed not to know it was the police.
posted by andoatnp at 9:18 PM on August 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


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