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knock knock no knock
May 17, 2010 1:29 AM   Subscribe

On the heels of the highly publicized Missouri raid that ended in the death of a corgi (previously), a seven year-old girl has been killed in a no-knock raid in Detroit. According to one of Radley Balko's commenters, the family may have been targeted because they shared a two-family duplex with the target of the raid.
posted by lalex (183 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
"Shared a two-family duplex". You mean like how I would "share" a two-family duplex -- namely, that I'd see the other people, like twice a year and never talk to them? But that would make me guilty and justify killing a seven-year-old girl who lived with me and not with the neighbors I never talk to?

Why do we have police? To kill us and call us collateral damage? So that we're "protected?" From what, living?
posted by dirigibleman at 1:43 AM on May 17, 2010 [11 favorites]


"All we can do is stand ready to offer our condolences to the family, and any help we can give them."

Well, that, and charge the officer who fired the shot with manslaughter.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 1:45 AM on May 17, 2010 [58 favorites]


The police do no exist to protect you. Why do they exist?
posted by dirigibleman at 1:51 AM on May 17, 2010 [12 favorites]


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posted by artof.mulata at 1:52 AM on May 17, 2010


Why do we have police? To kill us and call us collateral damage? So that we're "protected?" From what, living?

To protect white people.
posted by cj_ at 1:52 AM on May 17, 2010 [12 favorites]


Well, that, and charge the officer who fired the shot with manslaughter.

Police departments around the country are particularly inept at investigating wrongdoing and policing themselves. What we need in the U.S. is an agency, whether state or federal, that does not answer to the police department but investigates these kinds of incidents. And prosecutes.

I'm guessing that there is such an organization, I just have no idea of it. Isn't this Internal Affairs? How many police departments actually have that?
posted by zardoz at 2:02 AM on May 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


And if they had defended themselves, according to the second ammendment to the Constitution that law-and-order conservatives hold as the most important right in the land, she'd be just as dead. Why do we have police?
posted by dirigibleman at 2:03 AM on May 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


What a pack of thugs. Jesus Christ.

"We might be the target of anger," Godbee said.

You bloody well ought to be, asshole.
posted by EatTheWeak at 2:03 AM on May 17, 2010 [8 favorites]


Well, that's horrific and nauseating. Goddammit.

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posted by Dr. Christ at 2:05 AM on May 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't have a problem with not knocking. But not identifying themselves as police? Seems pretty dumb to me.

Not least because the police know that, if he can, a criminal will try and defend his property from whoever's coming in. Which means the police have to assume that someone will be defending their property. Which means they charge about with their guns ready to fire. The tactic itself predefines the probability of a violent outcome.

This death is further proof that the militarisation of these police operations isn't supported by either appropriate selection (of officers) or sufficient training.

It's sad, but not as shocking as it should be because as long as police offers rip tactics from military forced entry techniques practiced by special forces soldiers "collateral damage" is inevitable.
posted by MuffinMan at 2:09 AM on May 17, 2010 [5 favorites]


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posted by The Hamms Bear at 2:10 AM on May 17, 2010


Fuck the police. Every last one of them. Every police officer not demanding prosecution and conviction of the cop who fired the shots is every bit as responsible for this death as the trigger man. Lynching is too good for the lot of them.
posted by Netzapper at 2:15 AM on May 17, 2010 [11 favorites]


"We have executed countless high-risk warrants where children have been present."

This is both a pathetic excuse for slaughter and the callous, testosterone-swollen boast of a sinister win-loss record.
posted by Mikey-San at 2:27 AM on May 17, 2010 [6 favorites]


I can't belive I'm quoting Gawker, after swearing not to read them anymore, but: So, it is now acceptable to murder little black girls, as long as churches aren't blown up.
posted by dirigibleman at 2:29 AM on May 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


From the Gawker article..

According to Jones' family, the suspect wasn't in their apartment.

This makes this out to be a matter of opinion of the Jones family, when they go on to mention the person they were looking for was found in a different apartment. What the fuck? Is it really necessary to spin the fact that a 7 year old was shot in the throat in a bullshit no-knock?
posted by cj_ at 2:46 AM on May 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


To protect white people.

Because police offers clearly never mistreat whitey.

Statements like this make me sick and are just as racist as anything else. What happened was terrible and the men in question should be punished, but don't turn this into a 'down with white people they are clearly privileged' thread.
posted by Malice at 2:52 AM on May 17, 2010 [5 favorites]


Yeah because 7 year old white girls get killed in no-knock raids all the fucking time, right? I am sorry I diminished their plight.
posted by cj_ at 3:06 AM on May 17, 2010 [16 favorites]


To serve and protect?
posted by fnerg at 3:12 AM on May 17, 2010


I never mentioned privilege. God fucking forbid I bring up the dreaded knapsack and offend you in all your sensitive whiteness.

I am just saying that cops busting in with a no-knock warrant on a white family and then shooting a seven-year-old in the throat just doesn't happen.

But because the people in this case are black, people will defend it as a necessary evil or whatever. Talk about making me "sick".
posted by cj_ at 3:25 AM on May 17, 2010 [6 favorites]


What happened was terrible and the men in question should be punished, but don't turn this into a 'down with white people they are clearly privileged' thread.

Saying that white people are privileged, which is so obvious that it is pretty much part of the definition of "white people", is not the same as saying "down with white people", whatever that means.
posted by stammer at 3:27 AM on May 17, 2010 [11 favorites]


Meanwhile, over 70,000 people attended the NRA Convention this weekend...
posted by Pseudonumb at 3:33 AM on May 17, 2010


Look at these assholes.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 3:40 AM on May 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


How often are children killed in police raids? I don't recall hearing about one being killed before. Certainly I've heard of it happening to adults, but any kids.

I also think police should be required to film these raids with helmet cams, I think once people saw the videos of raids on the wrong houses, etc, they'd be horrified and the cops would either stop fucking up, or stop doing raids (which are for the most part totally unnecessary)
Yeah because 7 year old white girls get killed in no-knock raids all the fucking time, right? I am sorry I diminished their plight.
I can think of plenty of examples of police brutality against white people lately. Like that guy in Utah who got tased for refusing to sign a speeding ticket, even though the ticket still would have been valid without a signature. Like I said I don't think children overall are killed that often in police raids.
posted by delmoi at 3:41 AM on May 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


Up with people.
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:41 AM on May 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


Except bad cops.
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:42 AM on May 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile, over 70,000 people attended the NRA Convention this weekend...
What does that have to do with anything? Most gun control advocates aren't saying cops shouldn't have guns.
posted by delmoi at 3:43 AM on May 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yeah some guy getting tazed is a lot like getting shot in the throat. Sorry I didn't make the connection.
posted by cj_ at 3:44 AM on May 17, 2010


It's just one inevitable symptom of the endless "War on Drugs" that pumps billions of dollars into police hit squads and encourages them to bust in before people terrified of the crazy penalties given to drug offenders have time to flush the toilet.

(If it's just flushables they're after, maybe the police ought to think about forming a police plumbing squad. Are they afraid of getting a little poo on their hands but not afraid of getting blood on them?)
posted by pracowity at 3:51 AM on May 17, 2010 [16 favorites]


They don't get blood on their hands, silly. That's what the guns are for--so they can murder sleeping seven-year-olds without gettiing too close to them.
posted by No-sword at 4:02 AM on May 17, 2010


Not least because the police know that, if he can, a criminal will try and defend his property from whoever's coming in.

Oddly enough, so will non-criminals.
posted by JaredSeth at 4:07 AM on May 17, 2010 [32 favorites]


I do drugs (pot) and the idea of a no-knock raid on my house that results in my children being shot in the throat is fantasy. It'd never happen.

It seems to me though that if you are black, your family being gunned down is a real probability, whether or not you are even guilty of consuming/trafficking drugs. You just have to live within a few miles of someone guilty of selling drugs and then apparently your death (or that of your 7 year old child) is just collateral damage?

This is pretty fucked up from where I stand.
posted by cj_ at 4:07 AM on May 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


I do drugs (pot) and the idea of a no-knock raid on my house that results in my children being shot in the throat is fantasy. It'd never happen.
The whole point is that these raids are sometimes done by accident. The police don't know you are and it's not because of anything you've done. It was just a couple years ago that Police did a raid on the mayor Berwyn Heights, Maryland and shot his two dogs (but not any of his kids).

Someone tried to ship drugs to his house. The plan was for the package to picked up in transit by a drug dealer who worked for the shipping company. But the package was intercepted by the police and they delivered it themselves, unaware of the original plan.

And yes, the people in the story were upper middle class white people.
posted by delmoi at 4:13 AM on May 17, 2010 [11 favorites]


What does that have to do with anything? Most gun control advocates aren't saying cops shouldn't have guns.

Cops in the States are particularly militarized and trigger-happy because of the copious number of household guns in that country. They expect to face well-armed resistance because the potential for it is extremely high.
posted by Pseudonumb at 4:19 AM on May 17, 2010


I'm aware that police require some aggressive tactics necessary, but any officer who shoots a child should go down for manslaughter, period. If the district attorney doesn't crucify the officer, the community need to make sure his head roles during the next election. Of course, police would not need aggressive nearly so often if we didn't intentionally relegate so much economic activity to the criminal world.
posted by jeffburdges at 4:19 AM on May 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Wasn't this a raid looking for a murder suspect? As far as I can tell this case in no way involves drugs.
posted by sharkfu at 4:20 AM on May 17, 2010


Previously
on
Metafilter
Also
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:25 AM on May 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've often wondered if some people with significant emotional issues involving dominance and power are naturally drawn to the law enforcement profession. Gives them a chance to regularly lord it over other people with power and might, often with tragic results.
posted by quietalittlewild at 4:40 AM on May 17, 2010 [7 favorites]


"Dominant groups ... perceive the police as an institution allied with their interests, whereas minorities ... [are] more inclined to view the police as contributing to their subordination. This does not mean that minority group members are necessarily critical of the police, but it does increase the odds that they will believe that police misconduct is a serious problem, whereas whites tend to discount or minimize it and perhaps view criticisms as a threat to a revered institution .... [T]he greater tendency for blacks and Hispanics to perceive police misconduct is largely a function of their disproportionate adverse experiences with police officers, exposure to media reports of police abuse, and residence in high-crime neighborhoods where police practices may be contentious." -- "Race and Perceptions of Police Misconduct," Ronald Weitzer/Steven Tuch, George Washington University [Social Problems, Volume 51, 2004]
posted by blucevalo at 4:54 AM on May 17, 2010 [14 favorites]


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posted by joe lisboa at 4:59 AM on May 17, 2010


Dominant groups ... perceive the police as an institution allied with their interests
Okay, but this is Detroit. In 2000 it was 81% black. I'd be willing to bet that most of the police on this raid were also black. Trying to turn this into a racial issue is kind of stupid.
posted by delmoi at 5:23 AM on May 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Race and class can be confusing to separate sometimes.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:24 AM on May 17, 2010 [10 favorites]


I've often wondered if some people with significant emotional issues involving dominance and power are naturally drawn to the law enforcement profession. Gives them a chance to regularly lord it over other people with power and might, often with tragic results.

Or if you read the post directly below yours:

I've often wondered if some people with significant emotional issues involving dominance and power are naturally drawn to criticism of law enforcement. Gives them a chance to regularly whinge about other people with power and might, even though they probably need to STFU and do as they're told for once in their stupid lives. Not doing so often leading to tragic results.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 5:26 AM on May 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Cato made a google map mashup of these botched raids. They don't break down the demographic information of the victims. I think cj_ is probably right with respect to who usually gets fucked over during such botched raids, but maybe White people get screwed too, so it's all A-OK.
posted by chunking express at 5:26 AM on May 17, 2010


Race and class can be confusing to separate sometimes.

Especially when they're so intimately linked. It's rarely either/or here.
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:30 AM on May 17, 2010


Okay, but this is Detroit. In 2000 it was 81% black.

majority /= dominant
posted by jammy at 5:30 AM on May 17, 2010 [11 favorites]


Does anyone else watch the C.O.P.S. shows and the myriad other live police/interrogation/etc. shows and come away with the opposite sensation that I think they are supposed to elicit? I mean they are edited smoothly, I assume vetted by the departments in question, and undoubtedly are supposed to show the mind-bogglingly deep pool of human waste that the police routinely have to wade through. And sometimes I get that.

But at least half the time I spend thinking what power-mad louts they are, needlessly hassling the citizenry, over-complexifying small situations to make themselves seem more important and in control, occasionally baiting some form of response in order to bring the hammer down for responding...and this from watching their own propaganda. I don't know... I would hate to be a policeman. But I would hate to encounter one more.

It's like the knights and the crusades of ye olden days: if you have a bunch of armed bullies hanging around, before they become outright thugs, try to get them on your side and give them something to do, even if they are a little hard to control. Trouble is we've sent our bullying knights on a crusade against ourselves....
posted by umberto at 5:34 AM on May 17, 2010 [14 favorites]


I am particularly nauseated by the officers' initial knee-jerk reaction to blame the incident on the child's grandmother. Jesus fucking christ.
posted by elizardbits at 5:56 AM on May 17, 2010 [14 favorites]


Yes umberto. For instance: female police. The argument was [not too long ago when we were toying with the idea of letting them be front-line law enforcers] that they would be a valuable addition because of their femininity, and they would use their feminine wiles to bring a different dimension to policing. Blah blah blah. You get the drift.

Complete horse shit. They're the worst of the bunch as far as those TV shows are concerned. Five foot two humans with a taser and a huge axe to grind... and three equally brain dead, gun totin' mooses to back them up while they rudely gob off, trying to provoke a reaction.

And then there's the poor bastard who gets reamed on camera because of that 1/8th of an ounce of Mary Jane in his car. We can't be having that now, can we? I often wonder who in the hell that sort of TV-policing would appeal to. How many home invasions took place while 4 cops swarmed over his vehicle for a palm full of pot?
posted by uncanny hengeman at 6:02 AM on May 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


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posted by angrycat at 6:13 AM on May 17, 2010


"You'd know what to do If your kid got killed on the way to school or a cop shot your kid in the back yard Shit would hit the fan motherfucker and it will hit real hard." On with the body count.
posted by cashman at 6:16 AM on May 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Some cops are idiot assholes, others are decent people.
posted by Dick Laurent is Dead at 6:17 AM on May 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


Aiyana Jones, her name was Aiyana Jones.
posted by cashman at 6:23 AM on May 17, 2010 [16 favorites]


The victim's family said police told them the gun discharged because the girl's grandmother, Mertilla Jones, 46, grappled for the officer's weapon. Later Sunday, police spokesman John Roach said the officer and grandmother may have simply collided.

Mertilla Jones was released from custody Sunday afternoon, and it remained unclear if she will face charges.


That is disgusting.
posted by Corduroy at 6:27 AM on May 17, 2010 [12 favorites]


Disgusting that they are considering charging her, in case that wasn't unclear.
posted by Corduroy at 6:30 AM on May 17, 2010


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posted by Pendragon at 6:31 AM on May 17, 2010


Some cops are idiot assholes, others are decent people.

Sure, just like in any other profession, right? Key difference, though: they all have guns and can potentially kill you with them, and potentially get away with murder. The "idiot assholes" and the "decent people" alike. And it's worth keeping this point in mind: the chances are good that the very officer who killed this little girl has been seen and characterized as a "decent person" by many of the people around him, for example, his co-workers, friends and family.

So, it's not enough to say some are idiot assholes, that some are bad seeds, whatever. That's not even the problem, and statements such as yours deflect from the key fact that this and similar incidents point to: that the police as a whole are out of control, and that their powers over life and liberty of innocent civilians are too great. They need reining in.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:31 AM on May 17, 2010 [39 favorites]


Some cops are idiot assholes, others are decent people.

(flapjax at midnite beat me to it, but I'll click anyway.)

Which is unacceptable. Accountants can be idiot assholes. Accountants aren't encouraged to break into your house in the middle of the night with guns in their hands. If an accountant does that, you can... call the cops. Cops have to be 100 percent decent.

They need to be held to crazily high standards compared to just about any other profession. They need to be tracked and videoed every minute they are on the clock and everything they do needs to be on the internet for anyone to check. If the guy doesn't wash his hands after he pees, we need to know about it. When they perform their jobs, they need to feel like they are really performers up on a stage with everyone watching.
posted by pracowity at 6:35 AM on May 17, 2010 [28 favorites]


Also, this needs to be asked again and again:

"Based on our intelligence, we got a search warrant for the location," Godbee said. "Because of the violent nature of the crime, we thought we were entering a potentially dangerous situation."

But Charles Jones said the downstairs apartment where he lives with his mother was occupied at the time of the raid by four children and six adults.

"If they were watching this place to see if their suspect was here, why didn't they notice all the toys in the yard and all the kids coming and going downstairs?" Jones asked. "They came into my house with a flash grenade and a bullet. They say my mother resisted them, that she tried to take an officer's gun. My mother had never been in handcuffs in her life. They killed my baby and I want someone to tell the truth."

posted by Corduroy at 6:38 AM on May 17, 2010 [16 favorites]


I don't know how police departments are able to defend this style of raid. Lately, there's been example after example of human error.

I don't think I can even come down on the "cops suck" side of the argument, because I'm willing to bet the officer that fired his weapon is giving serious thought to putting a gun in his mouth. The tactic sucks, plain and simple. It's a high stress situation that can only serve to pump the officers full of adrenaline and increase human error.
posted by Macphisto at 6:41 AM on May 17, 2010 [5 favorites]


Detroit Officer's Gun Fires, Kills 7-Year-Old. —Being a headline of one of the pieces covering this story.

I presume the gun is also on paid leave pending an investigation? And will face charges should it be deemed appropriate?

How tragic for the family of this girl, but there's more than one victim in every tragedy. Do take a moment to think also of the gun, which finds itself now shelved, its career effectively over. What a waste of potential.
posted by kipmanley at 6:45 AM on May 17, 2010 [87 favorites]


That happens so often, and is a great catch, kipmanley. Thank you for pointing it out.
posted by cashman at 6:59 AM on May 17, 2010


I don't know how police departments are able to defend this style of raid. Lately, there's been example after example of human error.

The aforementioned Radley Balko put together an excellent paper on the subject in 2006. The instances of human error go way back, and it's heartening to see some of them getting national coverage.
posted by Phlogiston at 7:00 AM on May 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


If a police officer might feel bad, contemplate eating their gun, etc., after the incident is utterly irrelevant. You do not have to be a remorseless monster to have Seriously Screwed Up. And only a fool would be surprised by the results of the approach.

SWAT-style raids are simply a terrible idea. Let's take a duplex. Bullets have a tendency to go through drywall. They do not magically stop at some old flooring or a hastily thrown-together partition. That alone makes going in with guns drawn dangerous.

Then we have the no-knock. Simply breaching the home barrier without warning, past midnight, is guaranteed to evoke deadly things arriving in the night, one of the situations most guaranteed to get you confusion, terror, and not great responses from the people whose homes have been invaded.

The personnel involved are, for all intents and purposes, in situations much more closely resembling a war raid (and they are the soldiers) than Officer Friendly shaking down someone for evidence. And we know how people behave in war. We know how people behave at night. So we have glorious warriors on a sacred mission past midnight and the view of the populace. These warriors have status which deflects blame as well as their Plexiglass shields deflect blows. Tonight, they may do anything and will be applauded for it.

They know this and they do not turn this duty down. When do you see police saying, "Gosh, I think these SWAT teams are ineffective and dangerous"? The police are utterly complicit. Flashbangs and home invasions with guns — I consider manslaughter the very bottom of what ought to be charged. When you do these raids long enough, you know an innocent will be killed by police. This is a conspiracy, with companies eager to sell these gizmos and people to "interface" with the media and a whole ritual during which the police will be found blameless by other members of the police force, or at least some very conveniently placed lawyer or three. Money changes hands.

SWAT raids are a criminal conspiracy that occasionally kills civilians in the pursuit of ... what? Does anyone know anymore?
posted by adipocere at 7:05 AM on May 17, 2010 [30 favorites]


Why do we have police? To kill us and call us collateral damage? So that we're "protected?" From what, living?

To protect white people.

Yeah, except here they were trying to catch someone suspected of murdering another black kid. The officers were probably black. Their superiors are black. The perpetrators and the victims and those caught in the cross-fire are black. This is black-on-black-on-black violence, and to break it down into a simplistic "Oppression from The White Man" meme does not do justice to the complexity of the situation.

7-year-olds shouldn't get shot in police raids. But they also shouldn't get shot in gang-related crossfire, an occurrence which happens vastly more often. You can't address the first issue without looking at ripple effects on the second.
posted by drlith at 7:06 AM on May 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


I've been at the receiving end of a no-knock warrant. A half-dozen SWAT members in full body armor stormed my house and held me, my wife, and my stepson at gunpoint while they ransacked the place.

They found a pipe and a couple of grams of pot.

They were acting on a "tip" from a neighbor who was pissed off that I woke her bitch-ass up every night when I got home from work at 3 AM. Sorry your bedroom window is in line with my headlights, lady.

And obviously traffic at 3 AM means I'm a drug dealer, right?

I've told this story here before and no one got shot and it was a misdemeanor so blah blah blah I'll shut up.

But I'll say this much: now every cop is the cop that held a gun to my head. Every cop is the asshole who completely gratuitously and cruelly kicked my old sick cat while storming my home. Every cop is suspect, every cop is out to get me. The actions of an overzealous narc squad forever poisoned me. I will never, ever help a cop. They like to think they have enemies. Criminals. Well, I'm not a fucking criminal. I don't cheat, I don't steal, I don't even lie on my goddamn taxes. But they made themselves an enemy.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 7:09 AM on May 17, 2010 [134 favorites]


Some cops are idiot assholes, others are decent people.

How many of those "decent people" think their fellow officer should face criminal charges over this?
posted by rocket88 at 7:12 AM on May 17, 2010 [17 favorites]


Huh. Film crews with A&E's "The First 48" reality show, which follows police departments nationwide during the crucial 48 hours after a homicide is committed, were taping the team for a documentary.
posted by soft and hardcore taters at 7:15 AM on May 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


To amend my previous statement: I am completely behind the idea that when an event like this occurs, everyone involved should be fired and lose their pensions. Make the badge carry a responsibility with real consequences and you might see things like this become a lot less common.
posted by Macphisto at 7:16 AM on May 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


You guys are right, I'm sorry. All cops are terrible and they should burn in hell.
posted by Dick Laurent is Dead at 7:17 AM on May 17, 2010


You can't address the first issue without looking at ripple effects on the second.

If you really want to start playing this game, you do realize that it's going to obliterate any point you were trying to make about it not being related to race-related problems, right?
posted by cashman at 7:18 AM on May 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Hmm. So, for once, "The First 48" caught Hour One?
posted by stevis23 at 7:24 AM on May 17, 2010 [6 favorites]


Okay, but this is Detroit. In 2000 it was 81% black. I'd be willing to bet that most of the police on this raid were also black.

The Detroit metropolitan area had the highest segregation index (representing the percent of all minorities who would have to move from segregated neighborhoods in order to achieve residential integration) in the US in 1990, according to several studies of 1990 census data, and that's probably increased since then. Saying that Detroit is "81% black" is meaningless in and of itself. You have to take other factors into account.

The officers were probably black. Their superiors are black. The perpetrators and the victims and those caught in the cross-fire are black. This is black-on-black-on-black violence, and to break it down into a simplistic "Oppression from The White Man" meme does not do justice to the complexity of the situation.

And what are the root causes of that black-on-black-on-black violence? It's also pretty simplistic not to take a look at that and to imply that any examination of it is invoking "oppression from the white man."

You guys are right, I'm sorry. All cops are terrible and they should burn in hell.

Right on with the BS reductio ad absurdum. Woo-hoo!
posted by blucevalo at 7:24 AM on May 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


I guess BadCopFilter only gets deleted if it reads "posted by Optimus Chyme"
posted by Kwine at 7:32 AM on May 17, 2010 [22 favorites]


.

This means the "War on Drugs" os working - amirite?
posted by Drasher at 7:50 AM on May 17, 2010


I guess BadCopFilter only gets deleted if it reads "posted by Optimus Chyme"

Please don't start this; there is an open MeTa thread about this that you are welcome to post in. None of us really think that this fits the spirit of the "try to make a better post on the topic" suggestion that we made, but we'd rather leave this open and let people talk here than start some sort of escalation issue where we delete stuff and people make stunty posts to try to see if we'll delete them.
posted by jessamyn at 7:58 AM on May 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Given that they were looking for a suspect who executed a 17-year old boy in front of his girlfriend in broad daylight, I can see why they'd want to use a SWAT team. I assume it's to prevent loss of life of either bystanders or police in some sort of hostage or siege situation, but it seems like this is the worst possible outcome from either of those scenarios.
posted by electroboy at 7:58 AM on May 17, 2010


I guess BadCopFilter only gets deleted if it reads "posted by Optimus Chyme"

We are looking awfully hard at this one. I don't think it's frankly a much better post than the other one and I'm not sure why this is as good a post as we got. I think linking to the deleted thread is kind of a risible move. I have other opinions. That said, we're trying to have a little patience with this; but if this is going to go from being a thread about what it's about to being a conversation about moderation it had better go to metatalk pronto and spare us the in-thread thumb-nosing.

posted by cortex at 8:00 AM on May 17, 2010


I am completely behind the idea that when an event like this occurs, everyone involved should be fired and lose their pensions.

I'd go further—individual civil liability for the person(s) whose negligence led to the homicide. Your idiocy and itchy trigger finger get my family member killed? I'm emptying your bank accounts and selling your house.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 8:02 AM on May 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


I've often wondered if some people with significant emotional issues involving dominance and power are naturally drawn to the law enforcement profession.

I grew up in a blue-collar neighborhood in Chicago, heavily populated by the families of firemen and policemen (and factory workers and mafioso.) There were lots of kids my age in these families, lots of them stayed out of trouble and went on to good jobs (often the jobs of their fathers and mothers.)

However, one was the son of a suspected (and eventually murdered) mafioso figure, had issues, and was an immature, trigger-happy kid who got in a lot of trouble (before and after taking on the uniform and badge.) I was in earshot when he bragged he'd become a cop specifically to carry a gun and give people a hard time, and he thought it was hilarious they'd let him through.

A second was the leader of a small local gang, who went around terrorizing younger kids and committing crime; he was the only one who was known to carry weaponry at all times, and he was rightfully feared by the other kids in the neighborhood. One of the reasons he had the power he had: his father was the superintendent of police, and every time he got picked up for anything they let him go as soon as they found out who he was.

Power corrupts, yeah.
posted by davejay at 8:04 AM on May 17, 2010 [10 favorites]


A no knock warrant "... is issued under the belief that any evidence they hope to find can be destroyed during the time that police identify themselves and the time they secure the area."

Could someone please explain how a evidence of a murder suspect could somehow be destroyed between the time they identify themselves and secure the area?

What circumstances could fall into that situation? I can't imagine that list to be very large.
posted by goodsignal at 8:07 AM on May 17, 2010 [8 favorites]


Enough with the non-productive rage. How do we eliminate or defund SWAT raids? Clearly, whatever mechanisms designed to prevent scope creep from the most urgent of situations to looking for the odd roach have failed us.

Is this a federal issue? State? City? Where do we attack this?
posted by adipocere at 8:10 AM on May 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Gotta love whoever was responsible for the initial reports. A lot of people saw the initial reports where the grandmother was blamed, and kept moving. When actually "Police later said the officer may have just collided with the woman."
posted by cashman at 8:10 AM on May 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


You guys are right, I'm sorry. All cops are terrible and they should burn in hell.
posted by Dick Laurent is Dead at 7:17 AM on May 17 [+] [!]

Neither I nor the other commenters here who responded to your first comment said anything of the sort. Did you actually read our replies and consider them? Your putting words in our mouths in this way is childish and unappreciated, and cheapens the discussion.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:11 AM on May 17, 2010 [5 favorites]


I still can't believe these no knock raids are legal.
posted by zzazazz at 8:14 AM on May 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Given that they were looking for a suspect who executed a 17-year old boy in front of his girlfriend in broad daylight, I can see why they'd want to use a SWAT team.

Yeah, police raid tactics have been evolving since way before the war of drugs, and while the drug war obviously has escalated matters, the constant mention of it in this thread is a little facile. That said, this story is an obvious tragedy and I hope there's a full investigation with consequences.
posted by Bookhouse at 8:14 AM on May 17, 2010


Detroit Officer's Gun Fires, Kills 7-Year-Old. —Being a headline of one of the pieces covering this story.

I presume the gun is also on paid leave pending an investigation? And will face charges should it be deemed appropriate?

How tragic for the family of this girl, but there's more than one victim in every tragedy. Do take a moment to think also of the gun, which finds itself now shelved, its career effectively over. What a waste of potential.


I know it's fun and snarky to play semantics games, but what they reported is all we *know* happened. The story from the police officer is that there was a struggle. Do we know the police officer pulled the trigger? Do we know the grandma didn't grab at the gun and pull the trigger herself? No, we don't know either. I'd prefer the media do what they did and err on the side of caution and not report their (or your) beliefs of the incident over the facts at hand.

But I'll say this much: now every cop is the cop that held a gun to my head. Every cop is the asshole who completely gratuitously and cruelly kicked my old sick cat while storming my home. Every cop is suspect, every cop is out to get me. The actions of an overzealous narc squad forever poisoned me. I will never, ever help a cop. They like to think they have enemies. Criminals. Well, I'm not a fucking criminal. I don't cheat, I don't steal, I don't even lie on my goddamn taxes. But they made themselves an enemy.

Hey, I've had police officers draw their weapon at me too. It isn't fun. And I wasn't even breaking the law. But it's not cool to judge all members of a cohort of people based on the actions of some of them. I understand it and empathize, but that doesn't make it right.
posted by gjc at 8:16 AM on May 17, 2010 [5 favorites]


"i’m just home from a vigil for aiyana."
posted by cashman at 8:19 AM on May 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


To protect white people.

&

Yeah because 7 year old white girls get killed in no-knock raids all the fucking time, right? I am sorry I diminished their plight.

&

I never mentioned privilege. God fucking forbid I bring up the dreaded knapsack and offend you in all your sensitive whiteness.

I am just saying that cops busting in with a no-knock warrant on a white family and then shooting a seven-year-old in the throat just doesn't happen.

But because the people in this case are black, people will defend it as a necessary evil or whatever. Talk about making me "sick".


What a ham-handed attempt to justify identity politics. Prior to Aiyana Jones' death a total of two other children had been shot and killed in a drug raid.

If you were to take a cursory look at victims of the drug war you would find plenty of white folk who had come out of it for the worst. You can start with the case of Donald P. Scott. It was by the way, defended by the Sheriff's department for years after his death, despite a report by the Ventura County District Attorney identifying asset forfeiture as the motive in the case.
posted by BigSky at 8:20 AM on May 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


fuck SWAT teams. it seems as if cops nowadays don't want to do real police work: surveillance, casing the suspects house, identifying him when he arrives and leaves, watching his workplace, watching his relatives, doing research on where he lives to see who lives there. there are many active tactics too, using social engineering to draw him out, snatching him somewhere where he can be safely and non-violently captured. this can be boring and tedious.

instead they rush the joint and play army man, guns a-blazing, loaded for bear in storm trooper costumes, using the latest urban warfare technology. its easy to imagine the adrenaline that runs through ones blood kicking down a door in the middle of the night, with a fully automatic assault rifle and full body armor. why even put cops in that situation? why not do some homework and some risk management?
posted by Mach5 at 8:24 AM on May 17, 2010 [12 favorites]


Police departments around the country are particularly inept at investigating wrongdoing and policing themselves. What we need in the U.S. is an agency, whether state or federal, that does not answer to the police department but investigates these kinds of incidents. And prosecutes.

I'm guessing that there is such an organization, I just have no idea of it. Isn't this Internal Affairs? How many police departments actually have that? --Zardoz


Indeed. Internal affairs are always part of the municipal police department. They need to be from the outside, so there's no familiarity between investigators and perpetrators.

The victim's family said police told them the gun discharged because the girl's grandmother, Mertilla Jones, 46, grappled for the officer's weapon. Later Sunday, police spokesman John Roach said the officer and grandmother may have simply collided.

It strikes me as quite possible that in less publicly scrutinized cases, initial police statements like this one are often accepted as truth and are not later corrected.

The steady militarization of the police has gotten us to the point at which an outside check on them is important to our safety as well as their continued credibility.
posted by ignignokt at 8:24 AM on May 17, 2010


FTA: "Assistant Chief Ralph Godbee said Jones got into a tussle with the first officer in, causing his gun to go off."

Merriam-Webster definition of tussle:

Main Entry: 1tus·sle
Pronunciation: \ˈtə-səl\
Function: noun
Date: 1629

1 : a physical contest or struggle : scuffle
2 : an intense argument, controversy, or struggle

Did the assistant chief misspeak or was there something else going on?
posted by futz at 8:27 AM on May 17, 2010


Disregard my above comment. I thought Jones was another officer. I didn't realize that Jones is grandma.
posted by futz at 8:31 AM on May 17, 2010


Detroit Officer's Gun Fires, Kills 7-Year-Old. —Being a headline of one of the pieces covering this story.
---
I know it's fun and snarky to play semantics games, but what they reported is all we *know* happened.
---

It's not a game. The difference between "Detroit Officer Fires Gun" and "Detroit Officer's Gun Fires" is a crucial reframing of the situation. In the first, agency is given, the construction is unmarked, and a cause-effect chain is established (with the result being the killing of a 7-year old).

In the second version, the gun is the agent, the operator is absent, and the construction is socially marked as conveying something atypical. We recognize that this unusual construction is telling us something, succinctly packed into headline space, which is also something we are used to as journalism readers - in fact, this version is longer than the first. It's intentional wording. And what it is telling us is that the officer is either blameless, agentless, or non-present (as he could simply be the owner of the gun...who knows, maybe the girl found the gun and accidentally shot herself, right?).

In the first construction, the officer can be blameless AND still be the firer of the gun (let's say, an accident). In the second, he can't, at it is even possible that he was not there entirely. The journal chose the latter framing. Why?
posted by iamkimiam at 8:34 AM on May 17, 2010 [42 favorites]


What a ham-handed attempt to justify identity politics.

What does that phrase even mean? What "identity politics" are these commenters trying to "justify"?
posted by blucevalo at 8:47 AM on May 17, 2010


I try not to rush to judgment in stories like this, but Mach5's comment rings very true. Toss in the presence of a TV crew and the escalation of tactics for dramatic effect and you have a nice recipe for disaster.
posted by mediareport at 8:49 AM on May 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


.

and now, let's watch the thin blue line in action.
posted by LMGM at 8:51 AM on May 17, 2010


The journal chose the latter framing. Why?

They were afraid of being targeted for no-knock raids?
posted by yeloson at 8:53 AM on May 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Detroit -- At the request of Detroit police officials, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy's office will not be investigating the events that led to the death of a 7-year-old girl who was shot Sunday by a city police officer. Instead, the Michigan State Police will probe Aiyana Jones' fatal shooting....."On Sunday, I was approached by the Detroit Police Department about having an outside agency investigate the fatal shooting death of 7-year-old Aiyana Jones," Worthy said in a statement released today. "I agree that it is most appropriate that this be done independently." Worthy said she has contacted the Michigan State Police. "They have consented to investigate this matter," she said. "The Detroit Police Department will cooperate fully with the investigation."

Also, from the article: At a press conference in front of the home Sunday evening, Mertilla Jones said there was no struggle: "I hit the floor when I heard them hit the window."
posted by cashman at 8:55 AM on May 17, 2010


There may be video footage, though I don't know if they'll have caught any alleged tussle.
posted by availablelight at 8:56 AM on May 17, 2010


gjc, that was neither fun nor snarky. That headline quite literally made me ill.

There are a myriad of ways to write headlines in such a fashion that one respects the ambiguity of a fluid, unfolding situation without so utterly depersonalizing the events in question. Why, "7-Year-Old Shot During Police Raid" even uses fewer characters! (On preview, yes, thanks, iamkimiam.)

As cashman noted, this ugly little tic of grammar is a shibboleth of these sorts of situations, where someone authorized to use deadly force does so in a tragically accidental or arbitrary fashion. When former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle shot Oscar Grant III in the back while Grant was lying face down on a station platform, initial reports from BART read thusly:
BART officials have said only that his handgun discharged at about 2:15 a.m. Thursday at the Fruitvale Station in Oakland and that the bullet struck the unarmed Grant, who had been detained with several others.
Were I in a fun, snarky mood? —I'd pretend to blame Microsoft's grammar check: in its zeal to eliminate the passive voice, it has driven mid-level bureaucrats desperate for the accountability-dissolving powers of the passive voice, but too chickenshit to defy the squiggly green lines in their Word documents, to this bizarre metonymic construction; this is quite literally the only time I can think of where people don't kill people—guns kill people.

But I'm not in a fun, snarky mood. So.
posted by kipmanley at 8:58 AM on May 17, 2010 [15 favorites]


Because the media rarely report on police abuse, and when they do the reporting is often heavily biased in favor of the police, the solution to the problem is twofold:

1. Get a video recording device and carry it with you everywhere. Exercise your right to record public servants at work, and don't back down when they intimidate you to stop recording. Learn how to undelete footage, as many people in this situation have their cameras confiscated stolen by cops hoping to cover their tracks, who erase the video but are unaware that the data can usually still be recovered. Even better, get a smartphone with Qik.com, so you can broadcast video live to a remote, untouchable location.

2. Support alternative media. Sites like Cop Block and KopBusters, and YouTube channels like Jimmy Justice's and CopsOutofControl are filling the gap left by the big news agencies. Unfortunately, these resistance groups are operating with precious little resources. Recording video of the militarized police is pointless without a way to make sure your video gets seen, so we need to support the people and organizations who help these videos get seen. That could be through financial contribution, or just by spreading links around (on Facebook, Twitter, maybe even here on MeFi as lalex has done) to reach as many eyeballs as possible.

When the people have cameras and the ability to show police abuse to others in its rawest form, it's like shining a flashlight on cockroaches in the dark. Only when their activity is revealed will they scatter, and then the abuse will stop.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 9:02 AM on May 17, 2010 [7 favorites]


I don't care. If you're a cop and you go into a house, you better make damned sure that the people you're shooting at have a gun aimed at you. As a cop, you're wearing bullet proof vests and helmets. You're already far better off than any civilian in the house who may or may not be a part of the events that led to the warrant allowing you to search that house.

As a cop, YOU FUCKING KNOW BETTER. And if you don't, you don't get to be a cop any more. When you sign up to be a cop, you sign up to put yourself in dangerous situations. You sign up for the increased risk of death on the job. It is a risk that you CHOOSE TO TAKE, so you damned well better be willing to accept that risk and keep yourself in check when you go on a raid until you know what you are looking at.

There is no justifiable reason for this little girl's death. None. No matter how it's cut, it should not have happened.
posted by zizzle at 9:12 AM on May 17, 2010 [17 favorites]


It's probably confirmation bias on my part, but I really feel like there is an us-versus-them vibe developing between people and increasingly militarized local police forces in this country. And continuing tragedies like this one are just going to keep fueling a fire that ends with open conflict and lots of people hurt.

I really hope that media scrutiny in cases like this eventually forces police departments to rethink the way they interact with the public at large. Because I suspect that it could get really ugly otherwise.
posted by quin at 9:18 AM on May 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


It's already ugly.
posted by stoneweaver at 9:29 AM on May 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ah, but if you throw your drugs out the window and refuse to pull over for the police, and an officer across town decides to drive 105 miles an hour to join the pursuit and crashes into a tree, you will be convicted of murder.
posted by flarbuse at 9:51 AM on May 17, 2010


quin, you're right. typically (im speaking in generalities here), liberals are the ones that are anti-law and anti-police power, and want to rely more on community outreach and programs. until recently, it was the republicans with the law-and-order mentality wanting police to step in more and keep communities safe. however with recent developments like these, that republican support has waned and govt paranoia has taken over; that crowd is increasingly relying on their own weaponry and are distrustful of the govt run police force. this is a massive problem. cops everywhere need to get a hold of their PR before things start to get completely crazy. i can't see how this can improve any time in the immediate future...
posted by Mach5 at 10:09 AM on May 17, 2010


"Does anyone else watch the C.O.P.S. shows and the myriad other live police/interrogation/etc. shows and come away with the opposite sensation that I think they are supposed to elicit?"

Yes. When I was a kid, I use to think "You just don't run from the police. If you've done something wrong, this is your comeuppance, don't endanger other people." Now when I watch cops, which is rarely, I come away angry, wishing the police officer would just leave people alone.
posted by toekneebullard at 10:12 AM on May 17, 2010


Even if no one was killed, how to they justify possibly giving people PTSD? Even if they run in yelling "Police!" that doesn't shield you from your world crumbling to the idea that at any time, 5-10 men could burst into your house with guns.

There is so much collateral damage to this method of law enforcement.
posted by toekneebullard at 10:18 AM on May 17, 2010 [5 favorites]


The picture of the father, Charles Jones, just breaks my heart. As it does when he repeatedly asks "Why didn't they kill me instead?"

I can't find the article at the moment, but I read a piece a while back by a retired cop which stated that beginning in the late 1970s many police agencies started actively recruiting military veterans. They were more likely to follow orders without question and were experienced with weapons. I tend to believe this as on four out of five episodes of COPS it seems the officer chatting to the camera while driving mentions "I got into law enforcement after I got out of the Army (or Marines)...." Then they'll rhapsodize about the discipline and this and that that they loved while in the military, which to my mind always translates into "I love running around with a gun and kicking butt." Many of those COPS encounters, which are supposed to show the "positive" side of law enforcement, scare the heck out of me. Police shouting out orders that I couldn't understand without the closed captioning and then roughing up or tazing the suspect because they didn't respond quickly enough to the indecipherable command. Police roughing up suspects because they're supposed to somehow keep their hands in plain sight and exit their vehicle while their seatbelt is still buckled.
posted by Oriole Adams at 10:18 AM on May 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


Damned well said zizzle.

I don't know about anyone else, and this is probably some sort of apocrypha, but I feel like there was a time when if a cop shot someone who wasn't pointing a gun at them, that was that. Certainly that that would be the last time you carried a gun as a police officer.
Now it seems like there's nothing a cop can do to get stripped of their weapon. You can beat up a hooker in front of cameras, shoot a bunch of harmless dogs, or a 7 year old, and it's considered that the job is very dangerous and it can't be helped. It's like the continual Jack Bauerification of the world (or certainly America) - in the fight on crime, terrorism and drugs, collateral damage is to be expected.
As zizzle said so eloquently, if you're not willing to take the risk you shouldn't be in that position. I am constantly impressed every time I see gun owners on here or other forums berating users for talking about using their guns to threaten people, stating that you only ever point your gun at somebody if you are sure you need to shoot them. It seems like cops have less respect for their weapons (and I'm taking into account that in a raid they need to be ready to fire).

Beyond that I don't really know what to say but that the way the world is turning out is really depressing, and not what I'd been hoping for at all.
posted by opsin at 10:20 AM on May 17, 2010


Perhaps the use of the word "militarized" is unjust.

From the link:

"Most American police SWAT teams probably have fewer restrictions on conducting forced entry raids than do US forces in Afghanistan."

"A couple of years ago after I'd given a speech on this issue, a retired military officer and former instructor at West Point specifically asked me to stop using the term "militarization," because he thought comparing SWAT teams to the military reflected poorly on the military."

[Referencing Generation Kill] - "About 3/4 through the book, Wright explains how the full-time Marines were getting increasingly irritated with a reserve unit traveling with them. The reserve unit was mostly made up people who in their civilians lives were law enforcement, "from LAPD cops to DEA agents to air marshalls," and were acting like idiot renegades."
posted by BigSky at 10:36 AM on May 17, 2010 [20 favorites]


Besides feeling sickened with despair and outrage, what can average citizens do about this situation? The Supreme Court and the lower courts have failed to protect us, by allowing no-knocks and SWAT raids for non-violent cases. If there's not going to be a judicial solution to this problem, perhaps a political one will work. Local would seem to be easiest. How do you convince a police department to forgo using these tactics? How can a municipality forbid their use within city limits? City council, local referendum, what?
I'm serious about this. What will it take to prevent cops (well-intentioned or not) from using no-knock raids or unnecessary SWAT raids? How would one go about making that happen?
posted by katemonster at 10:48 AM on May 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


What will it take to prevent cops (well-intentioned or not) from using no-knock raids or unnecessary SWAT raids? How would one go about making that happen?

Media coverage? Starting with a picket/vigil outside the police station with pictures of the people killed by officers unnecessarily on a regular basis? Weekly, perhaps? To serve as reminders that an officer's duty is to protect and enforce the law, not harm and enforce the law.

I'm serious. I think only something of this sort will get the right kind of attention by the media and to get politicians to think about it.
posted by zizzle at 10:57 AM on May 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is terribly sad. Also, what is happening south of the border is frankly terrifying. We are living in militarized state thanks to this futile war on drugs, and it seems that not even our top (and very corrupt) politicians are safe.
posted by elmono at 11:10 AM on May 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


fucking hell. i have nothing but sympathy for the poor family.

what was it NWA said? just another nigga dead. they were too right.

another sad day for detroit.
posted by marienbad at 11:21 AM on May 17, 2010


dirigibleman:"Shared a two-family duplex". You mean like how I would "share" a two-family duplex -- namely, that I'd see the other people, like twice a year and never talk to them? But that would make me guilty and justify killing a seven-year-old girl who lived with me and not with the neighbors I never talk to?

Many people live in a house or building that is illegally subdivided where not all occupants or families have their own separate entrances and divided spaces and utilities. For example, I used to live in split-level home where the landlord had illegally made each floor a different rental unit. The spaces were not completely separate, as we had a shared laundry room that was open to each unit and the utilities were split (illegally) by the landlord not at the meter. I moved out when the other tenants started growing pot as I knew that a search warrant (or no-knock warrant) would have covered my living space as well; we had the same address and there's no reason to think that the police would kick in one door and not the other. It was in a no-win situation between an illegit landlord, a pot grower, and the police. I had the means to find housing elsewhere so I did. Not everybody has the option to move on and find a legit dwelling. So when I see "shared a two-family duplex" in Detroit I think that it's a euphemism used by a reporter that didn't know how to describe the actual living conditions.

Mach5: i can't see how this can improve any time in the immediate future...

Due to budget constraints, my little town's police force is considering eliminating its HEAT Program (Hard Entry And Tactics, essentially a SWAT team staffed by patrol officers that are not dedicated to only SWAT training and deployment); I consider this to be the best upside so far of our economy being in the toilet. This elimination is being considered by the chief of police as something he would like cut to free up funds for other needs, noting that the HEAT team has not been deployed since 2005 and the county in which we reside has their own SWAT team, a mobile command center, a tank, bomb squad, and all the usual militarized police toys.

What's been surprising to me is how strongly this idea is opposed by the people in my town. First the word got out in the local listserve with a huge flurry of email which was 100% against the elimination of the HEAT Program. It started with a very slick message that smelled of astroturf from a "law enforcement family member" looking to keep the police force safe, strong, and fully funded followed by dozens of messages ranging from typical conservative law-and-order screeds to "keep the children safe" type arguments to "why aren't they going to cut my taxes if they're also cutting services" complaints. The official proposal is supposed to come at a town council meeting this week, but already three people got up and spoke at the town council meeting last thursday against the cuts before they have even been proposed.

Interestingly, my little town is only three miles from Berwyn Heights where, as delmoi mentioned, the mayor's house was raided and his dogs killed just two years ago and three miles from College Park where last month the police savaged an innocent college student, falsified their reports, and are now hiding video evidence. So you think people would be slightly skeptical about aggressive policing, but nobody has spoken up publicly for cutting the HEAT program.

So this story about Aiyana Jones gives me a starting point to talk to my mayor, to speak in front of my city council, and to wade into the town listserve's one-sided conversation to encourage elimination of our town's HEAT program. It's a small step but I am so fed up with this shit that I have to do something.
posted by peeedro at 11:27 AM on May 17, 2010 [8 favorites]


I don't think the police are going to stop doing this. Now that their pay and toy-ratio has been directly linked to performing violent raids, there's no putting the horse back in the stable, short of legislative action which is highly unlikely at best -- the courts in most places are more than complicit in these raids. On preview: as is the media.

Personally, I think the Powers That Be would love to force open conflict (violent or otherwise) between the people and the police, because they can use it to strip us of the rights they haven't been able to erode through the Drug War and War On Terror. Corporations and wealthy politicians have this country just about sewn up, and the only thing they have left to fear is the constitution, which says that we can defend ourselves and don't have to buy in; what better way to change that than to push people until they openly opt out, and then crush 'em?

This is the way the Drug War was sold to the American people in the first place -- give Those People some rope, let them create their "movement", and then strangle it with its own trappings before it metastasizes enough to be a real threat. This is what'll happen if there's an anti-SWAT movement in this country, especially a community-based one: it'll be used to justify SWAT tactics with precisely the same circular logic.

I really don't see any way out from here. We let this shit go on for far too long.
posted by vorfeed at 11:30 AM on May 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Then they'll rhapsodize about the discipline and this and that that they loved while in the military, which to my mind always translates into "I love running around with a gun and kicking butt." Many of those COPS encounters, which are supposed to show the "positive" side of law enforcement, scare the heck out of me.

While I'm sure there are some from the military who can't get the thrill of such action out of their system, I've also known some people who had plenty of appreciation for the problems of war and violence. I came into the thread to post what BigSky posted, and will link it again for good measure:

More Militarized than the Military

Reminds me a bit of a blog entry I read not to long ago where a Marine who came home and decided to support Kerry in the election had both Marines and Kerry bumper stickers and got yelled at by some blowhard in an SUV about being a flip-flopper who didn't really support the troops. Posers and rhetorician vs. people who've really been there and come to grips with reality.
posted by weston at 11:35 AM on May 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well this is certainly a shocking new allegation against the Detroit police that conducted the raid:

"Updated: 2:29 p.m. today - Southfield attorney Geoffrey Fieger said this afternoon that he has viewed videotape that shows the gunshot that killed 7-year-old Aiyana Jones came from outside the house and not after an altercation inside the door as police officials have claimed.

“It’s not an accident. It’s not a mistake. There was no altercation,” Fieger said. “The bullet was shot from outside the house.”"
posted by cashman at 11:38 AM on May 17, 2010 [6 favorites]


Due to budget constraints, my little town's police force is considering eliminating its HEAT Program (Hard Entry And Tactics, essentially a SWAT team staffed by patrol officers that are not dedicated to only SWAT training and deployment);

Teams like HEAT are exactly where a lot of these problems come from too. It's been a long time since I studied the minutia of how SWAT worked, but traditionally, they were the exclusive group tasked with things like dynamic room entry. Hence the S in their name. They drill constantly to attain a real skill essential in taking a room with the least amount of casualties and collateral damage.

After 2001, the government started dumping stupid amounts of money into local level law enforcement and the result was shit like HEAT teams; regular police officers given SWAT styled clothing and weapons, with little additional training. And when they go charging in, and people get killed no one can make the distinction between which black-clad tac vest and helmet wearing guy with an assault rifle is SWAT and which is some dumb patrolman in a cool costume.

My feeling is that any department with a HEAT type team is sorely in need of serious defunding.
posted by quin at 11:57 AM on May 17, 2010 [5 favorites]


Some cops are idiot assholes, others are decent people.
I'm an asshole; can I shoot children now?
posted by coolguymichael at 12:00 PM on May 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


What's been surprising to me is how strongly this idea is opposed by the people in my town.

It seems to me from travelin' around that somewhere between 49-51% of the country would agree to be locked up like veal as long someone with a serious frowny-face and well-modulated voice would falsely guarantee the mythical safety of their tedious offspring. Even fake security is better than none. (see AIRPORTS) Why is everyone SO scared ALL the time?

Wonder if Nancy Grace will start dragging out dirt about the cop-killing gramma side of the story; wondering how she got off uncharged; demanding the death penalty....
posted by umberto at 12:13 PM on May 17, 2010 [5 favorites]


... I feel like there was a time when if a cop shot someone who wasn't pointing a gun at them, that was that.

There may have been such a time, but it was more than 50 years ago, if ever. When I was a teenager, one of the cops in town was a guy who'd married the local chief's daughter while a state trooper. When he was tossed off the Staties after pistol-whipping some kid he stopped on the highway, his wife's dad hired him.

Later, a father decided to teach his kid a lesson for borrowing the car without asking, and reported it stolen. Our subject cop spotted the car and pulled it over. When he saw the kid reaching over to the glovebox (presumably looking for the registration), he pulled his service revolver and shot him dead. He was subsequently promoted to Sergeant. (No, I'm not saying it was a reward for the shooting.)

Still later a couple of kids stole a car (a misdemeanor at the time), and swung through town, turfing the lawn of one of the churches, then headed out onto the highway, with the sharpshooting detective in pursuit. When I call him that, I'm not making it up; his office wall was festooned with plaques and certificates attesting to his accuracy with a handgun. So when the miscreants stopped the car and started hoofing it up the highway embankment, Sergeant Sureshot fired a "warning shot" - into the head of one of the kids. Didn't kill him, but left him a vegetable. Major public outcry this time. No disciplinary action, though. And his father-in-law had retired by then, so it wasn't that. The marksman was subsequently promoted to Lieutenant. He eventually retired with a full pension.

Not that it makes it any worse, but all the casualties (and the cop) were white. This was not in what you'd usually think of as Law 'n Order territory; it was an affluent suburb in the bluest of blue states.

Cops do not suffer as you and I do when they break the law. They get used to that, and sometimes it rears up and bites them. Much more often, it's the rest of us who suffer.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:14 PM on May 17, 2010 [13 favorites]


But I'll say this much: now every cop is the cop that held a gun to my head. Every cop is the asshole who completely gratuitously and cruelly kicked my old sick cat while storming my home. Every cop is suspect, every cop is out to get me.

This. One thousand times.
posted by brand-gnu at 12:17 PM on May 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


Well this is certainly a shocking new allegation against the Detroit police that conducted the raid...

More info on the source of the videotape:
"Geoffrey Fieger said Monday that footage shot by the A&E crime-reality show 'The First 48' shows that police fired into the home at least once after lobbing a flash grenade through a window....Fieger says he viewed three to four minutes of footage but declined to say who showed it to him. The police department says it is trying to acquire the video. An A&E spokesman declined to comment."
posted by ericb at 12:40 PM on May 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


Kirth Gerson, where was this, and around what year? It's an intriguing story and I'd love to be able to look into the details rather than tell friends "I read it online somewhere" and have them not fully believe me.
posted by cashman at 12:45 PM on May 17, 2010


I still can't believe these no knock raids are legal.

Really? I mean, I agree that one shouldn't have been issued here, but I disagree with the argument that they should be illegal across the board. Imagine a situation in which you have a house which is the distribution point for a large coke ring. Lots of drugs, lots of security, and lots of guys with guns. While I'm not the biggest law enforcement supporter, I think it is asking a bit too much to ask police officers to stand outside their door and knock for 30 seconds or another amount of "reasonable time" and let the resistance get ready in advance.
posted by craven_morhead at 12:45 PM on May 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


delmoi:
The whole point is that these raids are sometimes done by accident. The police don't know you are and it's not because of anything you've done. It was just a couple years ago that Police did a raid on the mayor Berwyn Heights, Maryland and shot his two dogs (but not any of his kids). "

The only reason you know about the Berwyn Heights incident is because the mayor was white and upper class. You don't hear about the black people killed by police executing no-knock raids in Prince George County (where Berwyn Heights is), DC, Baltimore or, usually, Detroit.

I moved out of Detroit 3 years ago. Used to joke with my neighbours about how the Detroit police didn't care about anything that didn't involve arterial bleeding or shooting, and you couldn't count on them caring about those, either. We heard gunshots so often we learned to tell the caliber by sound and stopped flinching. The only time we saw the police was when they did 50 going the wrong way down my one way street, maybe twice a year.

The bottom line is that no one gives a shit about the death of poor people, especially if they are black. There is no accountability when the police knock down the wrong door. Until there is, more innocent people will die.
posted by QIbHom at 12:46 PM on May 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Brings to mind this 1994 "no-knock raid" in Boston --

75 Year Old Minister Dies As Cops Raid Wrong Apartment
"A 75-year-old retired minister died of a heart attack last night after struggling with 13 heavily armed Boston Police officers who stormed the wrong Dorchester apartment in a botched drug raid.

The Rev. Accelyne Williams struggled briefly when the raiding officers, some of them masked and carrying shotguns, subdued and handcuffed him, then he collapsed, police said.

Williams, a retired Methodist minister, was pronounced dead of cardiac arrest at 4 p.m. yesterday at Carney Hospital said hospital spokesman William Henderson."
Previous MeFi "No-Knock" FPPs.
posted by ericb at 12:52 PM on May 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Just when I think I couldn't possibly hate cops any more...
posted by xedrik at 12:58 PM on May 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


What we need in the U.S. is an agency, whether state or federal, that does not answer to the police department but investigates these kinds of incidents. And prosecutes.

The Department of Justice has the power to investigate incidents like these as violations of federal civil rights.
posted by palliser at 1:08 PM on May 17, 2010


"The police department says it is trying to acquire the video."

Uh-huh. I bet they are. And all copies. And store them safely inside a giant magnet. Oops!
posted by umberto at 1:09 PM on May 17, 2010 [5 favorites]


I am experiencing serious fucking parental outrage here. Like my gut is on fire. How is there not more insane outrage about this? Because you know what? If a cop shot my daughter in a no-knock raid... hell, any raid... I would hold my tongue until things died down, and then I would make my way across the country, sniping cops until I got caught and executed. What the fucking fuck.
posted by Never teh Bride at 1:09 PM on May 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Government = force. These videos and stories are just a look into that reality.
posted by TheFlamingoKing at 1:12 PM on May 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


The only reason you know about the Berwyn Heights incident is because the mayor was white and upper class.

And, you know, the mayor.

I'm not calling to question the rest of your points, but the police executing a no-knock raid on a public official and killing their pets without cause is going to draw media attention regardless of that person's color.
posted by quin at 1:27 PM on May 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


I posted what I did because before I saw a picture of her, I had no idea if that little girl was black, white, Asian or anything else. It made this no less, or more, horrible when I saw the picture of the girl. Her race is irrelevant in this. The point is these police officers were way, way, way out of line and should suffer appropriate consequences.... whatever those are for "accidently murdering" a seven year old girl.

This hits home for me because something similar (although with no deaths) happened to a close member of my family about five years ago. This resulted in his children - white children - to be completely traumatized because of those police officers.

The idea that things like this happen only to one specific race is disgusting and yes, it is racism. It happens mostly to the poor. The poor may be made up of by a majority of one or two races, but when Poor comes around he isn't picky about the color of your skin or your gender or sexual preferences.

These kinds of things need to stop. Cops are overstepping their bounds. They need to be put back into their place. They work FOR us, they don't work to herd us like cattle. The entire system is morally corrupt.
posted by Malice at 1:28 PM on May 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


I usually find the "fuck the police" argument to be somewhat simplistic and juvenile- after all, dicks or not, police officers are still fellow humans and usually act like it. Incidents like these speak more to me as a failure of the system, not the individuals.

Then again, I can't help but remember an incident where I believe I came the closest I ever had to being shot. I was 16, and while taking a curved road too fast on slick concrete, I rammed into a concrete barrier. I was okay, my $400 car came out alright, and my pride was bruised a bit. An officer arrived on the scene to make sure everyone was alright, and took my license and registration. He came back from the car at the most acute angle possible with his hand on his pistol, knuckles white, and barked for me to show my arms. I nearly crapped myself- I grew up in an extremely sheltered affluent suburb and guns scared the shit out of me. I yelped and made sudden movement to comply, the officer unsnapped his holster... and then he relaxed.

"Phew, there's no tattoo on your arm."
"Huh?"
"We have an armed and dangerous out on a man with your description, birthday and height, except he has a full sleeve on his left arm."

To this day, I have no idea if the officer was being sincere or just fucking with me- one would think that if what he said was true, I'd still be processed, and what are the odds? I'm a very nondescript white guy, aside from my uncommonly short stature. But I still get a lump in my throat when I'm pulled over, more than a decade later.

I haven't suffered nearly as much as millions of others have at the hands of the PD, yet I'm still adversely affected. What is the sum total effect of all these traumas, both small and large?
posted by maus at 1:32 PM on May 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


(Okay, not really. But I'd spend hours and hours fantasizing about rampant vengeance!)
posted by Never teh Bride at 1:38 PM on May 17, 2010


The idea that things like this happen only to one specific race is disgusting and yes, it is racism.

And no, nobody is saying that there are 0 white victims of police force, so don't throw that straw man out there. What are you saying is racism?
posted by cashman at 1:39 PM on May 17, 2010


What are you saying is racism?

It was an extension on my reply to (cj?) above who made a comment, To protect white people.
posted by Malice at 1:42 PM on May 17, 2010


There may be video footage, though I don't know if they'll have caught any alleged tussle.

Well, that could change everything. The only reason that the Columbia, Missouri raid was widely noticed was because the video went viral.

Columbia, Missouri Police Chief: “I Hate the Internet”
posted by homunculus at 1:46 PM on May 17, 2010


It was an extension on my reply

Do you think that if you looked into incidents like this that there'd be no race differences in the victims?
posted by cashman at 1:47 PM on May 17, 2010


Okay. So how about this?

Law enforcement have a warrant to arrest someone who has been charged with stealing someone's PlayStation/XBox. Law enforcement show up at the kid's house with a full team and a battering ram. They strike the door with the battering ram. The sound of the battering ram hitting the door causes one of the officers to think he has heard gunshots. He returns fire through the front door, killing the kid on the other side. The Grand Jury refused to indict him.
posted by flarbuse at 1:52 PM on May 17, 2010 [6 favorites]


Okay. So how about this?

That is awful. Just horrible.

Flarbuse PlayStation story update (April 2009) - "The shooting touched off two lawsuits. One of them, against the county, was settled for $2.45 million. The second lawsuit, against the UNCW police, is still pending."
posted by cashman at 1:59 PM on May 17, 2010


Re: the headline reframing: while your analysis is technically correct, I really, really doubt it was done that way on purpose. Downplaying incidents really doesn't sell newspapers.
posted by gjc at 2:34 PM on May 17, 2010


Guest post about this by Adrienne Maree Brown on Feministing: There is no justice for Aiyana
posted by LMGM at 2:59 PM on May 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Downplaying incidents really doesn't sell newspapers.

it's not downplay - it's called spin

and what gets printed & how is not just a matter of what sells newspapers, but also who owns said newspapers & their advertisers & corporate sponsors that determine such things
posted by jammy at 3:46 PM on May 17, 2010


[comment removed - this is NOT the place for your cop murder fantasies. Knock that shit seriously off, thank you. ]
posted by jessamyn at 4:02 PM on May 17, 2010


gjc: My point (such as it was) wasn't that it was done on purpose. I don't think there's a cabal of brutality-loving law'n'order types perverting the headlines of our great nation; it's much more dejecting than that. It's a hedless conspiracy. Just everybody doing what they see as their jobs as best they can.

The language here is a symptom, not a cause: a symptom, yes, of the poisonous accountability-ducking mindset that removes and preemptively absolves the official actor from a violent act, leaving only the weapon and the victim. But its appearance in media accounts when not a direct quote from official spokespeople is a sign either of laziness (that official spokeslanguage copied directly because why bother) or of deference (why risk phrasing it differently and offending someone you'll need later on down the line). --Neither of which is what I want from my fourth estate; both of which, of course, are sadly all too common these days. As ever, as always.
posted by kipmanley at 4:05 PM on May 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Atty: Video Shows Police Fired Into Detroit Home
An attorney for the family of a 7-year-old girl slain during a weekend raid at their Detroit home says video footage contradicts the police department's version of events.

Geoffrey Fieger (FI-ger) said Monday that footage shot by the A&E crime-reality show "The First 48" shows that police fired into the home at least once after lobbing a flash grenade through a window.

He says that contradicts the police department's explanation that an officer's gun fired during a confrontation with a resident inside the home.
posted by ryoshu at 4:53 PM on May 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


Crikey! It appears song lyrics aren't welcome here? Pretty sure I posted some very relevant Fuck tha Police lyrics last night. Especially baffling considering every 2nd comment was basically "fuck the police!" :) Let's see if this post is allowed to stay...

You know sometimes I sit at home… you know… and I watch TV and I wonder what it would be like to live someplace like… you know… The Cosby Show, Ozzie and Harriet… you know… where cops come and got your cat outta the tree… all your friends died of old age.

[…]

You know what you'd do if a kid got killed on the way to school, or a cop shot your kid in the backyard. Shit would hit the fan, motherfucker, and it would hit reeeal hard.
[LINK]
posted by uncanny hengeman at 5:42 PM on May 17, 2010


Damn, apologies cashman! It would appear those lyrics are allowed.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 5:46 PM on May 17, 2010


WANTED FOR QUESTIONING
posted by uncanny hengeman at 5:58 PM on May 17, 2010



I usually find the "fuck the police" argument to be somewhat simplistic and juvenile- after all, dicks or not, police officers are still fellow humans and usually act like it. Incidents like these speak more to me as a failure of the system, not the individuals.


As long as cops do everything in their power to make certain no cop ever faces justice for misdeeds, it's going to remain popular to say "Fuck the Police" and lose the nuance.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:03 PM on May 17, 2010 [6 favorites]


Holy fuck:
DETROIT – Police who carried out a raid on a family home that left a 7-year-old girl dead over the weekend were accompanied by a camera crew for a reality television show, and an attorney says video of the siege contradicts the police account of what happened.
A Reality show!!! Well, I guess it's good that this was recorded, but still the idea that we would turn these raids into entertainment is more then a little fucked up...
posted by delmoi at 7:08 PM on May 17, 2010


It's like a very macabre episode of Reno 911.
posted by delmoi at 7:10 PM on May 17, 2010


is anyone talking about how A&E is involved with this? it's now obvious that they were filming this particular case. did the producers get involved at all? did they push the police force to do something they could present as a show? the name of the show is 'First 48' after all, assuming they are truthful the work needs to be done within 2 days. did they take an active role or just passively document? did their presence affect the cops decision making (ie: 'the cameras are on me, i should probably do something and look important')?
posted by Mach5 at 8:20 PM on May 17, 2010


Mach5:

This blog post has some commentary about the "COPS effect".
posted by L.P. Hatecraft at 8:30 PM on May 17, 2010


I wish I had Ghost Rider's penance stare.

Growing up, I wished that I had Superman's powers, or Iron Man's suit, or Batman's abilities, so that I could make the world right.

Now I want the penance stare and just five minutes alone with each member of the police department. Just five minutes of making them truly feel deep down in their souls the pain and terror that marked the final moments in the life of Aiyana Jones.

After I finished with them, well, I guess I'd still have a hell of a lot work to do. But I'd start with them.
posted by lord_wolf at 8:35 PM on May 17, 2010


.
posted by NoraReed at 11:03 PM on May 17, 2010


Reactions from police officers on policeone.com (scroll down):

I hope they fry the family members responsible for the cause of death of the girl and for harboring a murder suspect.

I hope the family harboring the murdering piece of S&^$ burns for this.
posted by alopez at 11:53 PM on May 17, 2010 [7 favorites]


Interesting link, alopez. Grandma did it.

...it's obvious the action of the grandmother caused this incident...

If grandma wouldn't have grabbed at the officer's weapon she wouldn't have caused the discharge that killed her grandchild...

I'm surprised cops are dumb enough to be venting their views on a public forum like this. I guess they might not all be cops[?].

I wonder if this is true? I wonder if the first shot [fired from outside] was the fatal shot?

It was this site or a similar site I checked on with respect to another police incident [a young kid in a car records an officer going absolutely nuts, yelling and threatening and carrying on] and it was the same sort of "the little fuck is gonna pay for this" attitude.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 12:38 AM on May 18, 2010


Wow this is so many levels of fucked.

Even if everything happened as stated in the original article, the officer involved should have much better control of his weapon - even more so if the contact between the cop and grandmother was simple a collision as suggested.

But of course if it went down like the family's lawyer is suggesting then there'd better be full on murder charges. Of course the way the law works, perhaps it'll just be a felony murder charge for the initial suspect (after all, the SWAT teams actions were a result of his crime).

As for the TV crew and their influence - I doubt the shows producers would have tried to have any direct influence on the actions of the police, but people play up for the cameras... Even without any direct instruction at any level it's not hard to believe the cops may have individually amped it up a little for the cameras.

At the same time this immediately makes be doubt the lawyer's story a little, as people are usually pretty self-concious around cameras, and firing blind into a house from the porch is pretty well outside standard operating procedures! But then again, the lawyer can pretty easily be disproved on this point, so he's gambling a lot if it's not really what's on the tape.

On the human tragedy level - as a parent this brings me so close to tears. I can't imagine how horrible it must be to live through this!
posted by sycophant at 3:26 AM on May 18, 2010


For those of you who aren't local Geoffrey Fieger is a very interesting character. He ran for governor, defended Jack Kevorkian and is known for his showmanship.

Until he produces the footage, I'd take whatever he says about it with a grain of salt. He's better at spinning than the entire editorial staff of the Detroit News (all two of them, after the destruction of the local papers).

As for the reaction of police online, this is a group that tends to think they are under attack from everyone and can have a real bunker mentality (which is why I got out of the field, actually). I suggested to our local police department that they spell check their Facebook updates in order to communicate more effectively and look more professional, and several hundred misspelling police and their supporters practically accused me of being a cop killer, a child molester, hating police and so on.

One tactfully worded attempt at constructive criticism, and I'm suddenly Snoop Doggy Dog's mutant, cop eating offspring.
posted by QIbHom at 6:33 AM on May 18, 2010


I've often wondered if some people with significant emotional issues involving dominance and power are naturally drawn to criticism of law enforcement.

FTFY. I've said this before so I'll be brief. I know several guys from my younger days who became cops. Every fucking single one of them was a sociopathic bully and wanted to be a cop to have power over people.

Every single one.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:52 AM on May 18, 2010


(And as I always add, I'm not saying all cops are sociopathic bullies. Just a whole lot of them.)
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:53 AM on May 18, 2010


For those of you who aren't local Geoffrey Fieger is a very interesting character. He ran for governor, defended Jack Kevorkian and is known for his showmanship.

Oh man. If his portrayal in You Don't Know Jack was accurate, this could get surreal.
posted by homunculus at 9:27 AM on May 18, 2010


Well the Free Press released the name of the officer who fired the shot - Joseph Weekley. Since a lot of people were wondering, he's white. I haven't seen this making the rounds yet, but here's an old AETV video of the Detroit SWAT training that comes up in a simple search. Officer Weekley is nicknamed Joseph "Brain" Weekley and he can be seen about 40 seconds into the old video at AETV.com.

Other relevant discussion:

"Police have said Weekley somehow came in contact with Aiyana’s grandmother when he was coming into the house and his gun went off. The grandmother denies ever coming into contact with any officer as the raid unfolded. "
posted by cashman at 2:23 PM on May 18, 2010


Since a lot of people were wondering, he's white.

No, he's blue. That's the only color that matters in these things.
posted by Justinian at 2:26 PM on May 18, 2010


No, no it's not. I see your point, but no, both colors matter.
posted by cashman at 2:31 PM on May 18, 2010


No, he's blue. That's the only color that matters in these things.

"OK, check this out. I got crazy posse. I got the stupidest motherfucking posse in the whole goddamn city.

You fuck with me, I snatch you out your car right in front of your goddamn bitch and beat you down right there. I got more guns than anybody, I got crazy guns… you know I got homeboys on motorcycles, and when we come we win.

I blue – you know what I'm saying?

I'll beat your fucking ass. Don't nobody call me by my name cuz they'll get smacked the fuck up, you know?

Can't put me in jail. You can't even fuck with me cuz I'm the craziest motherfucker on the street. Don't nobody want none of this, you know what I’m saying?

Cuz if you fuck with me or any of my friends, you'll get killed POINT BLANK!"
posted by uncanny hengeman at 8:27 PM on May 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


[KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK!] Excuse me, Officer Johnson? Internal affairs. We'd like to have a few words with you…
posted by uncanny hengeman at 8:29 PM on May 18, 2010


we win. I blue – you know what I'm saying?

Oh ohhla, how I hate you. First I misquoted 'on with the body count' and then this part from Pulse of the Rhyme is actually "When we come, we're wearing our blue, you know what I'm saying?" I haven't even really looked at ohhla to see if this is where the jacked-up lyrics come from, but I'll bet it is.
posted by cashman at 7:48 AM on May 19, 2010


Pre-Crime Policing: A SWAT team brings in a man and seizes his legally purchased guns—for a crime no one committed
posted by homunculus at 1:59 PM on May 19, 2010


Illinois: Where Recording On-Duty Cops Is Treated Like Sexual Assault
posted by homunculus at 10:35 AM on May 20, 2010


Dude, this is all so twisted.

mlive.com:
"Lost in the shuffle is the murder of (Jerean) Blake, whose mother says is being ignored because of the attention given to Aiyana's shooting. Before Owens was charged, Lyvonne Cargill appeared on a radio show and made claims that Owens and Aiyana's father "bragged" about killing her son, and that the girl's family was well aware of the situation.

"They don't talk about my son. They talk all about the 7-year-old. What about my son? My son needs to get buried, too," she said."
Poor Aiyana ended up caught up in the middle of all this. This new angle definitely sheds light into Charles Jones' reactions to me. Who knows what is what at this point, but his reactions were always kind of off for me. I just chalked it up to god knows how I would feel in that situation.

Still doesn't excuse Aiyana's death, or Weekley's role. So incredibly sad. That poor child was burned badly and then shot to death.
posted by cashman at 11:00 AM on May 20, 2010


Lessons from the Death of Aiyana Stanley-Jones: How aggressive SWAT tactics contributed to the death of a 7-year-old Detroit girl.
posted by homunculus at 12:06 PM on May 24, 2010


Cato Institute Uses Google Maps to Show Botched SWAT Raids
posted by Artw at 3:09 PM on May 24, 2010


Outrage: Cops Asked to Try Not to Kill
posted by homunculus at 9:50 AM on May 25, 2010


Aiyana Jones Update: Police Cover Up in 7-Year-Old's Killing, Says Family Attorney
posted by homunculus at 3:23 PM on June 2, 2010


lolcat goes S.W.A.T.
posted by BigSky at 12:33 AM on June 6, 2010


Oh ohhla, how I hate you. First I misquoted 'on with the body count' and then this part from Pulse of the Rhyme is actually "When we come, we're wearing our blue, you know what I'm saying?" I haven't even really looked at ohhla to see if this is where the jacked-up lyrics come from, but I'll bet it is.

Not sure if you're still reading this cashman, but don't be so quick to diss yourself.

How many times have you checked for some lyrics and found a mistake that you KNOW is a mistake? And you check six other sites and they all have the same mistake, the same bad grammar riddled throughout.

It's like there's a 15 year old kid [I have been that kid!] working out the lyrics in his bedroom... posting the lyrics... then 1,000 lyrics sites all posting the same lyrics as gospel.

So what I'm trying to say is that I knew what I was looking for, but I got those lyrics off the web. I tidied up all the awful grammar and punctuation etc but haven't got the song at hand to check.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 3:37 AM on June 6, 2010


Aiyana's dad with gunman, sources say; more arrests could be coming.
"Chauncey Owens, according to a statement read in court Tuesday, told police he was the driver and the gunman. With him, the statement said, were Little James, Dirt and C.J.

On Wednesday, three people familiar with the case said that C.J. is Charles Jones, the father of 7-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones, who was fatally shot during the police search for Owens.

Jones, 25, declined to comment when reached by phone Wednesday night. He has not been charged with a crime, and police and prosecutors refused to discuss him Wednesday.

The killing of Je'Rean Blake, 17, is still under investigation, authorities said."
Detroit rappers unite Saturday June 12th for rally against violence.

I'm kind of laughing that Nickel is there. I know the idea is that he's essentially schwarzenegger in terminator/commando/countlessviolentmovies but without a cohesive narrative, the comparison really falls apart more and more by the day. Pistol clip and pistol indeed.
posted by cashman at 5:47 AM on June 11, 2010


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