When Black Lives Stop Mattering
July 6, 2016 6:51 PM   Subscribe

"I don’t know how to feel that my life matters when there is so much evidence to the contrary."

"Over the past several years, we have borne witness to grainy videos of what “protect and serve” looks like for black lives — Tamir Rice, Walter Scott, Eric Garner, Kajieme Powell, to name a few. I don’t think any of us could have imagined how tiny cameras would allow us to see, time and again, injustices perpetrated, mostly against black people, by police officers. I don’t think we could have imagined that video of police brutality would not translate into justice, and I don’t think we could have imagined how easy it is to see too much, to become numb. And now, here we are.

There is a new name to add to this list — Alton B. Sterling, 37, killed by police officers in Baton Rouge, La. It is a bitter reality that there will always be a new name to that list. Black lives matter, and then in an instant, they don’t."

Sterling is the 560th person killed by police this year in the United States.
At an emotional press conference on Wednesday morning, Sterling’s 15-year-old son, Cameron, broke down in tears, and Sterling’s partner, Quinyetta McMillan – the boy’s mother – demanded justice for Sterling.

“He [Cameron] had to watch this as this was put all over the outlets,” she said, with reference to the cellphone video. “As a mother I have now been forced to raise a son who is going to remember what happened to his father.”
The Guardian: Police killing of Alton Sterling to be investigated by Department of Justice.
posted by standardasparagus (1907 comments total) 91 users marked this as a favorite
 
Mr. McKneely said the officers were not questioned last night because “we give officers normally a day or so to go home and think about it.”
posted by rtha at 6:58 PM on July 6, 2016 [69 favorites]


I thought since it was the NYTimes I could read the comments. I was wrong.

Otherwise, nails it:

Tuesday night I heard about Mr. Sterling’s death, and I felt so very tired. I had no words because I don’t know what more can be said about this kind of senseless death.

More writing like this, please. More writing about what makes these deaths so damnably, excruciatingly personal.

Because all of us who feel this may need to know the rest of us are out there. That's how movements begin.
posted by Mike Mongo at 7:04 PM on July 6, 2016 [4 favorites]


Samuel Sinyangwe @samswey
It's no coincidence #AltonSterling alleged criminal background was released before the names of officers who killed him or their records.

-
Bustle: As more information becomes available in this case, a holistic and fair picture of what happened will hopefully be made available to the public and the victim's family. But as that information is released, it's necessary to think critically of the framing around this case. Sinyangwe's tweet makes clear that everything is not always what it seems, and that in high-stakes cases like this, an analytical eye can reveal important intentions and patterns that need to be addressed.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:07 PM on July 6, 2016 [18 favorites]


Some quotes, without further comment.

"Mr Sterling was selling CDs in front of a convenience store early Tuesday morning. He was tasered and pinned down by two police officers, who the police say were responding to a call. He was shot, multiple times, in the chest and back. He died, and his death looks and feels as though he were executed."

"The body cameras the police officers were wearing "dangled" according to the police department's spokesman,... so we don't know how much of the events leading to Mr Sterling's death were captured."

"The Baton Rouge police department also has the convenience store surveillance video, which it is not, as of yet, releasing."

posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:08 PM on July 6, 2016 [15 favorites]






> Samuel Sinyangwe @samswey It's no coincidence #AltonSterling alleged criminal background was released before the names of officers who killed him or their records.

A friend on facebook (a black woman who lives in New Orleans) posted this, which was posted by a friend of hers:
Gon say this too and get it out the way: Alton Sterling was convicted 16 years ago around age 21 for 'carnal knowledge of a juvenile.' He was a registered sex offender. The details of that case have not been made apparent, tho I would venture that he clearly was messing with an underage girl and too old to be doing so. But this crime, for which he was arrested and convicted, is only relevant in so far as the lives of Black women and girls absolutely matter. Carnal knowledge of a juvenile is not a capital offense, nor should it be. And it certainly is no justification for murder 16 damn years after the fact. And in a world where 20-something white men can run up on, rape and brutalize unconscious women and walk away with 3mos of jail time, what we won't do is dare entertain the notion that Alton Sterling's history of sexual violence warranted a fucking execution. That is absurd. And brothers, take note of the labor that sisters will now be required to do to ride hard in the streets for this brother. We will be required to put aside the fact that he didn't care for a Black girl's life in ways he should have. But Alton Sterling's life mattered and on that point there can be no equivocation.
posted by rtha at 7:14 PM on July 6, 2016 [268 favorites]


At an emotional press conference on Wednesday morning, Sterling’s 15-year-old son, Cameron, broke down in tears, and Sterling’s partner, Quinyetta McMillan – the boy’s mother – demanded justice for Sterling.

I cried every time I saw that today. I can't watch the video of the shooting. Just watching that kid break down was too much.
posted by zutalors! at 7:14 PM on July 6, 2016 [8 favorites]


I remember you Alton.
I remember you Sandra.
I remember you Tamir.
I remember you Eric.
I remember you Mike.
I remember you Akai.
I remember you Aiyana.
I remember you John.

It's been almost two years and I can see the complacent white consciousness changing ever so slowly (someone who I remember coldly scoffing at the Ferguson protests posted today about the injustice of these murders) but it's not moving nearly fast enough. And every iota of a millimeter is due to people of color putting their bodies on the line over and over again at protests and risking their mental health to advocate for the basic and yet apparently still deniable fact that their lives matter.
posted by sallybrown at 7:20 PM on July 6, 2016 [47 favorites]


As more information becomes available in this case, a holistic and fair picture of what happened will hopefully be made available to the public and the victim's family

There is cell phone video, from multiple sources, and multiple eyewitnesses that all say that he was immobilised at the time he was killed, and that he made no attempt for the gun.

There literally are no possible additional facts that can make this killing a justified use of force.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:22 PM on July 6, 2016 [22 favorites]


Mr. McKneely said the officers were not questioned last night because “we give officers normally a day or so to go home and think about it.”

To agree upon their story, basically.

"The Baton Rouge police department also has the convenience store surveillance video, which it is not, as of yet, releasing."

The camera probably spontaneously falls off the wall.

He was a registered sex offender.

At what point in their investigations did the officers become aware of this?
posted by Artw at 7:22 PM on July 6, 2016 [17 favorites]




The camera probably spontaneously falls off the wall.

Via The Daily Beast:
Police asked Muflahi for the surveillance footage from his store but he refused to turn it over without a warrant, he said.

“I told them i would like to be in the store when [they took it],” Muflahi said. “They told me they didn’t want me to see the footage.”

“I never received a warrant,” but the video was taken anyway, Muflahi said.
Nope, not a cover up at all. Nosiree.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:25 PM on July 6, 2016 [116 favorites]


FYI the gofundme scholarship fund that stevil linked to is indeed legit
posted by a strong female character at 7:30 PM on July 6, 2016 [4 favorites]


Louisiana just enacted a "Blue Lives Matter" law

WHAT this is crazy
posted by rainydayfilms at 7:42 PM on July 6, 2016 [4 favorites]


"Just" as in about a month a go, I should add. But it's a clear indication of where priorities lay: in the direction of bullshit.
posted by Artw at 7:45 PM on July 6, 2016 [6 favorites]


Baton Rouge parade openly mocked the deaths of black men months before Alton Sterling shooting

A float declared “Pink Lives Matter” and showed a flamingo getting beaten with police batons with a sign around its neck saying “I can’t breathe.” The flamingo is the mascot of the Spanish Town Parade, which is known for its inappropriate humor. The flamingo was an obvious reference to Eric Garner, who told police that he couldn’t breathe just before he was killed in that encounter.
Another float joked about “Freddie Gray Goose” — Freddie Gray was another black man killed by police, which sparked large riots in Baltimore — and some attendees waved Confederate flags, the Baton Rouge Advocate reported.

posted by madamjujujive at 7:48 PM on July 6, 2016 [19 favorites]


Washington Post: The video of the shooting was captured by chance by members of Stop the Killing Inc, a local anti-violence activist group and documentary team that listens to police scanners and shows up at the scene of potentially violent confrontations to take video. A second video that emerged later in Wednesday appeared to show one of the police officers removing a gun from Sterling’s pocket after he was shot.

Stop the Killing Inc. was founded by Arthur “Silky Slim” Reed, a former gang leader turned anti-violence activist, who said that two members of his organization drove to the scene of Sterling’s shooting after hearing police scanner traffic about a potentially violent disturbance. Reed declined to say which member of his team shot the video, or confirm if he himself was present for its recording, citing safety concerns.

Reed said his group didn’t immediately release the video because it wanted to see how transparent police would be about the shooting.

“You want to see what the police are going to say and how transparent they’re going to be,” said Reed, 43, who has spent most of his life in Baton Rouge. “You know that you’re holding a chess piece, the most important part is to move that piece at the right time.”

posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:50 PM on July 6, 2016 [123 favorites]


As someone who has watched the video - this is by far the most graphic and disturbing of any I've seen in a long time, maybe ever. I strongly believe its important that these videos exist but please consider your mental health, please. For me the worst parts are (description to follow could be triggering): He is facing up towards the police - they are looking him in the face as they murder him at point blank range. His injuries are shown in graphic detail and he doesn't die immediately.
posted by sallybrown at 7:50 PM on July 6, 2016 [18 favorites]


There was such an outpouring of grief on Twitter last night. I watched the #AltonSterling tag and it was exclusively Black faces for quite awhile. Then the racists started to trickle in. One thing non-black people can do is step in when a racist gets up in a Black person's mentions. Take out the @-name of the Black person out of the thread and go in on that racist. Wave that red flag. Take the emotional labor off the Black person and onto yourself. (Same concept applies to other social media, obvs.)

I watched both cellphone videos - yesterday I didn't know what I was getting into. I wasn't prepared for how blatant the execution would be. Today's was less shocking even though it's more graphic. I feel a duty to witness this.

A white friend posted on Facebook today asking white people to intervene when police accost a Black person. Put our bodies on the line. I haven't entirely processed that yet, but I am very, very watchful when I see a Black person being pulled over. I've pulled over behind or in front of them just to watch and let the police know they're being watched. I've asked the guy in handcuffs if he's okay, if he wants me to call anyone. Police need to know that we're not on their side.

I will never call the cops on a Black person unless someone's in danger and I'd risk my life by interfering. Car thefts are endemic around here, but I'm not going to take the risk the thief will be executed. They're almost always teenagers, and I could never live with myself if something happened. My insurance will cover the car.
posted by AFABulous at 7:50 PM on July 6, 2016 [114 favorites]


I realized we do have gun control in America. It is only for people of color, it's enforced by the police, and the enforcement takes the form of an on-the-spot execution, even if the gun is not visible, even if it is not a gun, even if it is held by a child.

People of color do not have the same rights that white people have in this country. Even the Constitutional rights.
posted by maxsparber at 7:58 PM on July 6, 2016 [100 favorites]


Samuel Sinyangwe ‏@samswey is good to follow for this and other black police-related killings. Last night he tweeted that:

--Every person Baton Rouge police have killed in the past 3 years has been black and male.

--Black men are 25% of Baton Rouge population but 100% of those killed by police.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:01 PM on July 6, 2016 [33 favorites]


It's been almost two years and I can see the complacent white consciousness changing ever so slowly (someone who I remember coldly scoffing at the Ferguson protests posted today about the injustice of these murders) but it's not moving nearly fast enough.

I'm sorry to say, in all the media and cultural frenzy of the aftermath of Michael Brown's death, I was conflicted. I indulged in some doubt over whether or not Brown had posed a danger to the officers on the scene. Good old equivocation and just-world rationalization. It was when I read the officer's account (in a thread on this site, by the way, and I don't know if I would have encountered it otherwise) that it finally started to hit home for me. Reading how the officer described Michael Brown -- as an it, not a he -- as looking "like a demon" -- felt a little bit like shining a faint flashlight down a well, far enough to understand that it's a lot deeper and darker than you had ever thought.
posted by Vic Morrow's Personal Vietnam at 8:04 PM on July 6, 2016 [28 favorites]


I realized we do have gun control in America. It is only for people of color, it's enforced by the police, and the enforcement takes the form of an on-the-spot execution, even if the gun is not visible, even if it is not a gun, even if it is held by a child.

So no big surprise then that the Democrats wanted to tie gun control to the No Fly List, another government program that focuses on brown people and no evidence above all else.

Seriously, when I heard that THAT is what the big Democrat sit-in was about, to tie gun control to the most OBTUSE, OPAQUE, and fucking BACKWARDS list that should have been done away with the fucking SECOND Obama was in office, I thought I was going to lose my shit.

This whole country is fucked and I don't know what to do about it anymore except cry.

I mean, Christ, I live in one of the most hippie ass liberal cities in the country and still I'm overrun by fucktards who think that nothing is wrong. We even had two young black men shot by a local cop over stealing beer for fucks sake! And everyone was like "Oh, well, they shouldn't have committed a crime." Yeah, because steeling beer is totally worth getting fucking shot.
posted by deadaluspark at 8:07 PM on July 6, 2016 [34 favorites]


prefpara's comment from Mike Brown keeps on being sadly, disgustingly relevant

To put it more bluntly, rights aren't something you earn by being perfect.

I'm reposting it here:


Or, to put it more bluntly, rights aren't something you earn by being perfect. Michael Brown didn't lose his right to life when he (if he) said something rude to a cop. The citizens of Ferguson didn't lose their right to justice when members of a crowd engaged in looting. Those who want to talk about looting are contributing to a narrative where you make one wrong move and you are no longer entitled or protected. Only, it never seems to work that way when it comes to the rights that those in power claim for themselves. Do you lose your gun license by doing one thing wrong, for example? Not if you're white.

Stop talking about the wrong things black people have done. There is only one question. Are black Americans full citizens with all the same rights and liberties as white Americans? And the answer is, based on what I see in the world around me, no. So talk about that. Talk about whether the Constitution has moral authority, or the government legitimacy, as long as its paper promises are dust and ash in the mouths of our neighbors of color.
posted by lalochezia at 8:13 PM on July 6, 2016 [108 favorites]


Louisiana imprisons more people than anywhere else in the world. Nearly five times Iran's, 13 times China's and 20 times Germany's. The entire system is corrupt and so it's no wonder the officers feel they can get away with murder.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 8:24 PM on July 6, 2016 [22 favorites]


There is cell phone video, from multiple sources, and multiple eyewitnesses that all say that he was immobilised at the time he was killed, and that he made no attempt for the gun.

There literally are no possible additional facts that can make this killing a justified use of force.


And before the usual hue and cry is raised, note that Louisiana has both open and concealed carry, although (as we're seeing over and over again), in the real world open carry--remember John Crawford III and Tamir Rice--and the 2nd Amendment are increasingly de facto applicable only to white men. As Charlie Pierce points out:
By the way, for those who will make a point of Sterling's carrying a gun, which has been reported in a number of places, remember that Louisiana is an open-carry state. If he were armed, then, right up until the moment somebody shot him to death, Alton Sterling was exercising his Second Amendment rights in exactly the way the NRA and its noisy apologists have suggested we all should.

Except that we're not all black, the true original American Exceptionalism has come home again.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:27 PM on July 6, 2016 [62 favorites]


If they thought or knew that he had a gun from the beginning, why would they physically approach him? Maybe I watch too many movies but it seems like the SOP is to try to get the person to put the gun down and get it away from them before arresting them.

If they didn't know or think he had a gun, what were they violently arresting him for?
posted by AFABulous at 8:37 PM on July 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


"Dangling" body cameras? I would love to see statistics about how many times body cams have been disabled in situations where they would be awfully useful in cases where police misconduct is suspected. My public defender partner, who works in just one small jurisdiction in this country, has some pretty damning anecdotal evidence about this.
posted by kozad at 8:38 PM on July 6, 2016 [6 favorites]


The legality of open/concealed carry is probably a red herring since he was a felon. But if someone has a gun, and you have reason to believe they may be adversarial towards you, it makes NO sense to approach and tackle them. Unless you are not afraid of the gun! In which case, why'd you shoot him if you were not afraid? This is like an onion, the more layers you peel away, the less sense it makes.
posted by AFABulous at 8:41 PM on July 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


If police officers can't properly use cameras, we should probably rethink if they can be trusted to properly use guns.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:41 PM on July 6, 2016 [171 favorites]


It's at the cop's discretion to decide whether the body camera will "protect" them more while on or dangling.
posted by mantecol at 8:45 PM on July 6, 2016 [4 favorites]


sallybrown thank you for that description. I was trying to decide if I wanted to/should watch the video and you've decided me that I can't. And it feels really weird to think "no, I can't handle seeing that" when other people have to handle the possibility of it happening to them every day.

It's just so fucked.
posted by threeturtles at 8:48 PM on July 6, 2016 [13 favorites]


The video of his teenaged son breaking down and screaming "I want my daddy" was almost as hard to watch as the murder.
posted by AFABulous at 8:49 PM on July 6, 2016 [8 favorites]


Nah, watch that shit. Watch an arm of the state, supported by tax dollars, murder your fellow American. When the officers that did it get off with no jail time, watch it again and realize the country you live in.
posted by cashman at 8:50 PM on July 6, 2016 [72 favorites]


You can see how the defense is going to go already (assuming there will be a trial, which is extremely rare in these cases in the first place). The cop who was manhandling Sterling on the ground will say he felt the gun in Sterling's waistband/pocket (likely true) and yelled "gun" to alert the other officer that a gun was present. The cop with the gun on Sterling will say that he was focused on covering Sterling and so when the other cop yelled "gun" he feared that meant Sterling had grabbed the gun or was reaching for the gun and so fired in fear of his or the other officer's life. The defense would argue that both of these actions are reasonable in isolation...

The fact that the result is a gross injustice overall won't be something they mention.

And if the past is any indication this defense will work because the jury will either be racists or fooled into ignoring the injustice of the whole thing or both. And I say that as someone who I think the past has shown is much harder on prosecutions by the government than many people here.

The recent past shows that you can have video showing exactly what happened and people won't convict. How do you fix that? Stop being racist assholes is the long term solution but what do you do in the decades it will take to do that?

Until juries are willing to hold police accountable for unjust outcomes I don't know how it gets better.
posted by Justinian at 8:51 PM on July 6, 2016 [21 favorites]


And now there's another shooting of a Black man, in Falcon Heights, MN. It's breaking on Twitter now and the hashtag is #FalconHeightsShooting, be aware that you will quickly run into a VERY graphic and disturbing video. His girlfriend is filming; she's in the driver's seat of a stopped car and her boyfriend is in the passenger seat. There's a baby or young child in the back seat. She says they were pulled over for a broken taillight and her boyfriend went to get his ID and the police shot him in the arm. I had to stop watching, but Twitter says he's in the hospital.
posted by AFABulous at 9:00 PM on July 6, 2016 [12 favorites]


The most amazing thing is that they shoot him and then just leave him bleeding and slumped over in the car, still alive, instead of trying to render aid in any way.
posted by AFABulous at 9:03 PM on July 6, 2016 [5 favorites]


I take back every horrible thing I ever said about Facebook Live videos. I so hope the man in the video survives. I don't have 1% of the bravery of Lavish Reynolds - to pull out a cell phone and film as your boyfriend bleeds out in front of your child and a cop pulls his gun back out and onto you!
posted by sallybrown at 9:08 PM on July 6, 2016 [15 favorites]


There literally are no possible additional facts that can make this killing a justified use of force.

Mike Brown, Tamir Rice; I thought that for those too. For Trayvon too.

And yet here we are. Justice does not see or care what the police do. Or in Martin's case, people pretending to be police.

All the way up to the Supreme Court, the justice system bends over backwards to let the police do as they please, no matter how many innocents get hurt or killed.

I don't understand this sickness and I don't know how to root it out. I don't know why the courts can't look at this and see the horror of killing after killing after killing. I don't understand why they are so reluctant to stop it.
posted by emjaybee at 9:09 PM on July 6, 2016 [16 favorites]


.


The most amazing thing is that they shoot him and then just leave him bleeding and slumped over in the car, still alive, instead of trying to render aid in any way.

This happened to Tamir Rice, too; in fact his sister was handcuffed and put in the back of a police car when she tried to render aid. She was fourteen.

It's entirely possible some of the people who are murdered might have survived if they received any kind of first aid - but they never do. Instead, the police begin collecting evidence to destroy and figuring out how they are going to make the murder of an unarmed/unaware/pinned down person that person's fault.

It's sickening.
posted by Deoridhe at 9:10 PM on July 6, 2016 [49 favorites]


The most amazing thing is that they shoot him and then just leave him bleeding and slumped over in the car, still alive, instead of trying to render aid in any way.

because they're acting like the occupying army in a hostile city with a population they view as subhuman. Not as the policing force of a community they are apart of. That is entirely the correct thing to do in thier mind given that worldview.
posted by The Whelk at 9:10 PM on July 6, 2016 [88 favorites]


I feel overwhelmed and scared. This is monstrous.
posted by prefpara at 9:16 PM on July 6, 2016 [5 favorites]


I guess it's amazing that I'm even amazed by any of this anymore.
posted by AFABulous at 9:21 PM on July 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


The entire time I was just thinking yo cops, he's still alive! Maybe not for long but uhhh... hey shitheads, HE IS STILL ALIVE. Not only do they not render aid to that still-living person, but they take the opportunity to dig through his pockets.
posted by SharkParty at 9:23 PM on July 6, 2016


Jesus. That video. I could only watch pieces.

At the end her own kid is telling her "it's ok mommy, I'm here with you"



I just fucking cant.
posted by mrjohnmuller at 9:23 PM on July 6, 2016 [9 favorites]


I honestly don't even understand how our society can begin to walk this sickness back as long as the police as a bloc are unwilling to join in aggressively righting the ship. The open insurrection of the NYPD against Mayor de Blasio in response to some minor perceived slights made it clear that this sector considers itself answerable to no-one politically. When the police are seen openly to murder with no accountability, at what point do we consider this a de facto junta?
posted by threeants at 9:26 PM on July 6, 2016 [19 favorites]


"Justice".

It hollows out our society; we can't even have a society, because how can you live in community when some people are subject to lynch law? When some people are state-protected murderers? When some people live protected and never notice? Everything that looks so nice on the surface is rotted underneath, because it's all propped up by this social fact that the police can murder Black people with impunity, and can do violence against anyone else they designate as outside of society.
posted by Frowner at 9:27 PM on July 6, 2016 [15 favorites]


This series of tweets by Anil Dash is so spot-on.

#AltonSterling & #EricGarner were killed by cops for bending the law to far lesser degree than execs at AirBNB & Uber. Billions vs bullets.
posted by ActionPopulated at 9:32 PM on July 6, 2016 [43 favorites]


posted by AFABulous And now there's another shooting of a Black man, in Falcon Heights, MN. It's breaking on Twitter now and the hashtag is #FalconHeightsShooting, be aware that you will quickly run into a VERY graphic and disturbing video. His girlfriend is filming; she's in the driver's seat of a stopped car and her boyfriend is in the passenger seat. There's a baby or young child in the back seat. She says they were pulled over for a broken taillight and her boyfriend went to get his ID and the police shot him in the arm. I had to stop watching, but Twitter says he's in the hospital.

Philando Castile has died. He was 32.
posted by mattdidthat at 9:37 PM on July 6, 2016 [14 favorites]


Fuck.
posted by Artw at 9:38 PM on July 6, 2016 [7 favorites]


The amount of time the cops waste staring and standing around letting Castile bleed out when they could be helping him -- he's clearly not a threat -- is unconscionable.

.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 9:43 PM on July 6, 2016 [5 favorites]


A couple of hours ago everything was fine and now he's dead. I just - this should not be, no one should stand for it. Capital punishment doled out by the cops on a whim on any Wednesday night. But there's no one with the power to stop it. You think it's a mistake on some level, that there's some kind of training problem, or at least that publicity will get them to dial back their behavior, but there's nothing that can stop it. And then you think what is even the fucking point if we can't have a society where cops don't shoot people in front of their loved ones.
posted by Frowner at 9:43 PM on July 6, 2016 [42 favorites]


It's been said so many times but fuck the phrase "officer-involved shooting".

.
posted by edeezy at 9:47 PM on July 6, 2016 [31 favorites]


Here's his Facebook. He was a student at and employee of the University of Minnesota. His girlfriend said in the video that Castile had no record and that he had a permit for the gun he was carrying, which he had told the officer.
posted by AFABulous at 9:48 PM on July 6, 2016 [6 favorites]


. .
posted by en forme de poire at 9:48 PM on July 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


There are no fucking words.

.
posted by zachlipton at 9:51 PM on July 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


The Facebook Live video appears to have vanished - not clear why.
posted by sallybrown at 9:51 PM on July 6, 2016


I honestly don't even understand how our society can begin to walk this sickness back as long as the police as a bloc are unwilling to join in aggressively righting the ship. The open insurrection of the NYPD against Bill de Blasio in response to some minor perceived slights made it clear that this sector considers itself answerable to no-one politically. When the police are seen openly to murder with no accountability, at what point do we consider this a de facto junta?

It can be done. I understand the impulse to despair, but it's worth noting that those who were watching the Civil Rights Movement face down firehoses and police dogs sixty years ago, and for that matter those watching Theodore Roosevelt battle the corruption of the New York police force over a hundred years ago felt the same. Institutions do not reform themselves, and they do not give in to reform easily or willingly. The police are not, I repeat not, going to "join as a bloc" to pursue reforms, any more than any other institution. Yet we have seen the police force throughout our history reformed, again and again, by popular pressure driving political change.

I feel, especially for my demographic (white, male, aspirant middle class) despair can become something of an escape mechanism. If there's nothing we can do, then there's no moral obligation to try, is there? It's the second easy way out, the one we take when the first ("this isn't a real problem") is closed. But it isn't true. The revolt against de Blasio is a revolt driven by the assumption (or at least the hope) that they can deter other politicians, or discourage citizens who support his initiatives. It's a sign of fear. And it is a fear that the impulse towards reform will spread widely enough, deeply enough, that reform becomes inevitable - the point at which it becomes too politically costly for those who make the laws and pay the salaries to avoid.
posted by AdamCSnider at 9:52 PM on July 6, 2016 [36 favorites]


Jesus christ.


Reading thru this, across the ocean in prague, it made me realize that I've stopped watching cops. I rarely see cops here. After Brussels we had an increase in cops and also some fully armed military dudes walking around.

Whenever I've seen a cop talking to someone it's been young white men. Never a black or brown person. I used to *always* stand around when cops were "talking" to someone back in the states. And I've pulled out my phone a few times, thankfully for no reason.

I feel like I am watching a really shitty scary nightmare episode of Twilight Zone when I watch this happen from over here because I now know for certain it doesn't have to be like this. The contrast is sickening and horrifying. It doesn't have to be like this.

I will have to watch the video because I make myself watch all of them. I don't know what else to do.
posted by sio42 at 9:53 PM on July 6, 2016 [5 favorites]


We hear about the murders, but I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that black people receive worse treatment from cops in every category imaginable.

We're looking at a different kind of thug here. The people who go into law enforcement for the chance to mistreat others in ways they wouldn't be able to as a civilian. Who is hiring these thugs and failing to keep close enough tabs on the police force to be able to detect and fire anyone who develops these thuggish attitudes?

I mean, it's self-evident that some rotten people are going to be attracted to positions of power. And it's also known that power corrupts. These are facts that need to be acknowledged and dealt with. A police force is a dangerous thing if it's not weeded on a regular basis. With Obama at the top of the pyramid right now, at some point corruption must be coming into it if leadership is failing to keep the ranks free of thugs like this.
posted by mantecol at 9:53 PM on July 6, 2016 [8 favorites]


The Facebook Live video appears to have vanished - not clear why.

Evidence? Maybe its grotesqueness?

But no worries, Facebook will keep letting hate speech get published.
posted by qcubed at 9:54 PM on July 6, 2016 [7 favorites]


So what do black and brown people in America do now? Because no matter what the 14th Amendment says, we're definitely not citizens in the eyes of too many white people in power, and in the opinion of too many people who represent "the Law" who are allowed to murder us at will, even if we do everything right and by the book.

What else there to say? What else is there to believe? Why bother giving a shit about a country that has so many people in it just itching to murder us?

As for the video, it's on YouTube, and I'm sure it'll be on LiveLeak in a minute (but I'm sure I wouldn't read the comments), and the local CBS station has linked to the YouTube version (which will itself probably be replicated) on their site.
posted by droplet at 9:55 PM on July 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


By the way, for those who will make a point of Sterling's carrying a gun, which has been reported in a number of places, remember that Louisiana is an open-carry state.

It is amazing how much "he had a gun" or even "he was reaching for what seemed like it was a gun" or even just "he was reaching" is supposed to make the immediate execution of a person of color perfectly ok, but gun-toting white NRA members think it's their god-given right to go to Starbucks looking like this and not be so much as hassled.
posted by zachlipton at 9:55 PM on July 6, 2016 [90 favorites]


I'm hoping to god the Facebook video is down because the woman who filmed it took it down at the advice of a good lawyer who's actually on her side.

I keep hoping. Not sure if that's completely naive of me.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 9:55 PM on July 6, 2016 [4 favorites]


Jesus. I forgot to turn off autoplay, and saw a few seconds of the Falcon Heights video. I couldn't keep watching. It feels obscene to watch or share these videos--to make a spectacle of black death and suffering--and obscene to ignore them. Nothing about this is not obscene.

The woman who made that video is still in police custody. They took her away in handcuffs.
posted by karayel at 9:56 PM on July 6, 2016 [26 favorites]


I've seen the Falcon Heights video cropping up on Twitter so it has been saved by people, thankfully. (Added Falcon Heights when I realized I had to specify WHICH MURDER I was talking about)
posted by AFABulous at 10:01 PM on July 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm hoping to god the Facebook video is down because the woman who filmed it took it down at the advice of a good lawyer who's actually on her side.

Why would not having the video up be of any benefit to her? At this point, the more views it gets, the less able the St. Anthony PD is able to create a narrative about a scary black man trying to gun down a platoon of cops.

FYI, the video is still available, having been copied and put on youtube by "Starlight Live". If you search for the hash tag, it'll come up. Be warned, it doesn't show the shooting, but it does show Castile bleeding out with four bullets in him.
posted by fatbird at 10:04 PM on July 6, 2016


The other thing is that these videos go around and we see all these really graphic images of Black suffering and death, and it doesn't change anything except that there's these images out there in the world. It feels like people shouldn't have to live the rest of their lives knowing that their darling son's death is out there on youtube, or their partner's or their father's. It just - it seems like such a, such a perversion of intimacy, and it doesn't do any good even, because it's not about needing proof. Everybody knows now and it still doesn't change.
posted by Frowner at 10:08 PM on July 6, 2016 [23 favorites]


reading this thread and the one about police floats at pride feels like whiplash.
posted by nadawi at 10:08 PM on July 6, 2016 [35 favorites]


"He was going for a gun" is the police equivalent of the elementary student's "the dog ate my homework" excuse.
posted by snwod at 10:10 PM on July 6, 2016 [5 favorites]


This is insane. Is there a point at which a city is safer for its inhabitants without police?
posted by Mrs. Davros at 10:11 PM on July 6, 2016 [5 favorites]


I feel like it is impossible to see these images, one after another, of people of color being executed by the police, and not say, hey, that thing that black people always told us? That they are under siege? That any encounter with a cop could instantly turn deadly?

I mean, how can you deny it? How now, when the evidence just builds and builds? And yet the same pattern instantly kicks in, the defenders of privilege come rushing out, insisting that the cops were right, digging through the victim's past for anything to prove they somehow deserved a roadside execution, this great pile on of racist denial that not just refuses to acknowledge the horror and tragedy of it, but makes the victims victim again, dragging them through the mud, desperate to dehumanize them to the extent that their death was not just acceptable, but necessary.

I just want to scream, and I'm an observer. I can't imagine what it must be like for people of color to not just now witness this death, but to witness the surge of racism insisting that black death is a social good.
posted by maxsparber at 10:17 PM on July 6, 2016 [54 favorites]


I don't know how anyone will be able to deny that this one isn't straight up racism. I mean, it just doesn't make sense that a guy would pull a gun on a cop when his girlfriend and four year old are in the car. Especially when he's just told the cop he has a (legally permitted) gun. The cop was clearly primed to feel afraid. I know this would have never ever happened if it had been me.
posted by AFABulous at 10:27 PM on July 6, 2016 [8 favorites]


am i seeing correctly that the girlfriend is still in police custody? do we know why she was arrested/detained? is the baby with family or being held by the state? god, this is so horrific.
posted by nadawi at 10:31 PM on July 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


I think the only of these videos I've ever watched was Tamir Rice and Sandra Bland because it's just too horrifying. I regret watching those because they haunt me because I don't know what is effective to get anything done about this. I don't need to see any more to know something has to change but even writing my elected officials (and voting for ones who seem interested in police reform) seems like nothing. That said, the SPD is doing contract negotiations and one of the areas being changed is related to disciplinary hearings. So I guess I go write Murray again.
posted by R343L at 10:33 PM on July 6, 2016


So what's going to be the excuse for this one? What crime did Philando Castile commit that was worthy of execution? Other than being black, obviously. And where are Lavish Reynolds and her child? I'm so, so worried for them. How appalling that I, that we, can have zero confidence in their safety in police custody.
posted by yasaman at 10:33 PM on July 6, 2016 [11 favorites]


They'll find a way to deny it, and a way to exonerate the officer. There will be some protests. The MN BLM facebook post about it will get about two comments in before the "but black crime" trolls start up again. There will be some kind of hearing about the officer, but it will be delayed or moved or soft-pedaled and as soon as they can minimize the public reaction they'll exonerate him. That's how we operate here in Minnesota, last bastion of liberalism.

Cold and cruel hearts in this state.
posted by Frowner at 10:35 PM on July 6, 2016 [10 favorites]


Philando Castle committed the crime of getting pulled over by an officer obviously incompetent for street duty. Listen to his voice.
posted by rhizome at 10:37 PM on July 6, 2016 [11 favorites]


i feel like every post about a black person being shot by police end up with several comments about black people being shot by police within the same post that happened right around the same time or shortly after the original post.

i don't know how anyone can deny there's a problem but they do.
i don't know how you make anyone see the problem if they're unwilling to see it.
posted by sio42 at 10:39 PM on July 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


i can't watch the video before bed if i hope to sleep, but i seem to be seeing screencaps that show both of the car's taillights on... if so, there wasn't even the flimsy cause to pull him over.
posted by nadawi at 10:40 PM on July 6, 2016


The traffic stop was for a broken taillight. One problem with that....
posted by AFABulous at 10:41 PM on July 6, 2016 [15 favorites]


By coincidence just today I had finished with some catch-up reading of a back issue of UU World magazine I had that was full of articles about Black Lives Matter, the Moral Monday movement in North Carolina, and things like that. A lot of introspection about how we'd done so far to live up to our values, how we could do better, historical context and you know. On reflection it probably wasn't a coincidence at all, just run the numbers and it's not too unlikely that they'd align. But then that's the historical context too: we knew there'd be another one of these incidents before too long, we know there's going to be another-another one tomorrow or next week or next month.

And for me that history does help a little bit to hold off despair: if there's going to be progress, it'll only happen because of what we do again and again and then again, it'll be because of what we learn each time and how we respond each time. Good people are out there doing this and will continue in the future. I don't want to look back when I'm old and realize I didn't at least try to help them.
posted by traveler_ at 10:41 PM on July 6, 2016


I suppose it's possible it was a brake light that was out, but, oh wait, checking the legal code here, turns out people aren't supposed to be executed for burnt out brake lights either.
posted by zachlipton at 10:44 PM on July 6, 2016 [66 favorites]


My dad was born in 1940 and he swears to me that I can't imagine how bad it was for black people in America before the Civil Rights movement, and by God I want to believe him that it's better In some way now, but on nights like this I just don't know.
posted by murphy slaw at 10:56 PM on July 6, 2016 [4 favorites]




My dad was born in 1940 and he swears to me that I can't imagine how bad it was for black people in America before the Civil Rights movement, and by God I want to believe him that it's better In some way now, but on nights like this I just don't know.

I've heard the same from (older) black co-workers. It took hard work to change things then, it will take hard work to change things now. But things can be changed. BLM and others wouldn't be out working if it were not so.
posted by AdamCSnider at 11:09 PM on July 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


am i seeing correctly that the girlfriend is still in police custody? do we know why she was arrested/detained?

Several people on twitter who've called the St Anthony's police dept have been told that she's "not in custody" but is being "interviewed", whatever that means. I don't think anyone finds it particularly reassuring.
posted by karayel at 11:21 PM on July 6, 2016 [10 favorites]


Where is her daughter????
posted by sio42 at 11:31 PM on July 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


That Falcon Heights video. I kept having to pause it just to process. The woman calmly stating what happened to the camera, because what else can she do? The little girl trying to soothe her mother, because what else can she do? And everyone tweeting and commenting and posting, because what else can we do? Nothing, because he's dead.

And yet, watching the first few seconds of video again, I can't help but feel a little bit, just a bit, of empathy for the cop. Regardless of the verdict (I think we all know what the verdict will be), he'll have to live with the fact that he's killed an innocent person for the rest of his life, and he seems to know it. Or maybe he's just worried he'll actually face consequences for his actions, but I'd like to retain a kernel of faith in humanity.

And it just makes me think... no one is benefiting from these murders. No one. Obviously not the victims or the victims' families. Obviously not black Americans. Not non-PoC Americans, who at least partially subsidize the useless trials and the settlements used as a poor substitute for justice, a consolation prize for not having your husband your father your son- money that could be going to, oh I don't know, undoing the legacy of centuries of racism on black communities. And not even the cops, who need the trust of the communities they're policing.

So why the fuck is "we should be doing something about these deaths" an assertion that's debated? Why is "black lives matter" such a fucking controversial statement?
posted by perplexion at 11:34 PM on July 6, 2016 [19 favorites]


Racism.
posted by sio42 at 11:36 PM on July 6, 2016 [6 favorites]


Unfortunately, there are those who benefit. The prison-industrial complex. Politicians who made their reputation being "tough on crime." Even, at some remove (depressing to think on it, but true nonetheless), those of us who don't have to compete with African-American citizens or the poor more generally in the dwindling job market because they've been essentially locked out of it (in the prison or the graveyard or the crumbling infrastructure of the inner cities). The costs (including those faced by officers on the streets) are a side-effect.
posted by AdamCSnider at 11:37 PM on July 6, 2016 [31 favorites]


but is being "interviewed", whatever that means.

It means they're going to find out what her story is first thing, so they can start coming up with alibis early. Then, they're going to wear her down until she contradicts herself on tape and use that to discredit her as a liar later.

But the cops have to get a couple of days off to relax and get their stories straight before they're allowed to be "interviewed". Stressful and confusing, you know, murdering someone. Might say something you didn't mean to say on the record.
posted by ctmf at 11:41 PM on July 6, 2016 [67 favorites]


I mean, it's much easier to come up with a not-actually-disprovable story a couple of days later, once you already know what the witness saw and didn't see. I hope she's just straight-up refusing to say a word.
posted by ctmf at 11:48 PM on July 6, 2016 [14 favorites]




The Facebook Live video appears to have vanished - not clear why.


It's all over CNN right now (well, CNN International at least, not that joke that they call CNN and show in the US).
posted by modernnomad at 12:38 AM on July 7, 2016


I saw the Sterling shooting in the early morning hours yesterday during a fit of insomnia. I was so empty at seeing it. Like "yup, it's happening again." I fell alseep, and something must have snapped because I had zero memory of it. Until seeing news the second shooting. How are we doing this again? How can this still be happening?

Disarm the police. It's the only answer I can think of at this point outside of outright disbanding them. And you know what? I think we'd mostly be okay if cops were disarmed. Of course they couldn't go in as oppressors anymore.

I haven't watched any of the videos. I can't. I just can't. I know it's a luxury to choose not to, but I can't handle it.

I logged into Facebook expecting to see the same old racist shit, but hoping to see some change. I was mortified to see instead, there was nothing.

This country is going to burn. It's a tinder box and we amidst an extremely volitile election. My only hope is that it will maybe, just maybe force real change.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 12:50 AM on July 7, 2016 [12 favorites]


This country is going to burn. It's a tinder box and we amidst an extremely volitile election.

Yeah. I'm very concerned Donald Trump is about to say something inflammatory that may get even more people killed.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:53 AM on July 7, 2016 [4 favorites]


I've had this sense since the first night of Furgeson.

The infuriating injustice cannot hold. No people are this calm, willing to take this much for this long.

Every morning I wake up surprised that a whole city hasn't been burned down.

How do the cops in Minnesota expect any kind of safety anymore? How do the citizens trust them?

The whole thing is untenable, the center cannot hold.
posted by lattiboy at 1:02 AM on July 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


This country is going to burn.

Talk like this, as a brown man with a brown family, makes my blood run cold. You are writing us off. If you are aware of the problem, as a white person, please do not despair, or become apathetic. Or wait for things to shake out as things go to shit for us minorities. Do something to help stop it.
posted by Mister Cheese at 1:03 AM on July 7, 2016 [124 favorites]


Good point Mister Cheese.

I just have this existential dread that society is kind of unraveling. I know it's largely not true, but the darkest parts of society are coming out with Trump and minority groups are (rightfully) filled with hot fire and fury not seen in two generations.
posted by lattiboy at 1:07 AM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


FYI, the video is still available, having been copied and put on youtube by "Starlight Live". If you search for the hash tag, it'll come up. Be warned, it doesn't show the shooting, but it does show Castile bleeding out with four bullets in him.

What's the point of this indirection? The link is here. Again, this may be upsetting.
posted by thelonius at 1:17 AM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


and people will believe that.

yet the cops didn't feel the need to subdue brock turner even tho what he did was so horrific that one of the men who stopped the attack was crying when the cops showed up.

fucking racism. this is all such bullshit.
posted by sio42 at 1:25 AM on July 7, 2016 [4 favorites]


.
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:51 AM on July 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


Jesus Christ America, when are you going to cut this shit out?

What will it take? More people of color in the Police?
There must be some data-wrangler out there somewhere who has looked at this problem and seen that, yes, racists are at the root of the problem, but if this one thing were also changed - say only one in five police officers got to carry a gun. Or, say, a police officer who kills someone is then liable for murder, criminally and/or in a civil case... Or, something.

I worry for my friends and friends of friends and their children, who still live in the US.
posted by From Bklyn at 1:53 AM on July 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


. and .

Both shootings are tragic and troubling.

For people wondering WTF American police are thinking these days, the recent Frontline episode, Policing the Police tries to shed a little light by following Newark cops around. It's clear that both the local residents and the police are fearful of each other, which gets dangerous whenever stops become confrontational. Such a web of social problems to address, but at the very least there needs to be more consequences for police fuck-ups.
posted by p3t3 at 2:08 AM on July 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


/Mister Cheese, I don't think lattiboy meant "this country is going to burn" in an apathetic way. I've had the same fears, actually - that some huge explosion of rage is going to happen - but I'm actually thinking more of, like, a retread of the 1968 convention in Chicago. Something which brings two of the biggest opposing forces in this country face-to-face, instead of having them be isolated behind their computers, and one person says something dumb in passing and it sets another person off and the tension is so great that everyone gets drawn into it. I seriously am expecting a large, and public, riot at one of the conventions this year.

But that's not a surrender. I am honestly hoping that doesn't happen. But I am just envisioning what will happen when you have the Trump supporters outside the convention hall running into Trump protestors - and whereas other such meetings at past conventions might have only resulted in a lot of yelling and that's it, this time you have the tension from the Trump protestors being angry at the status quo and their bigotry, running into the tension from the Trump supporters who've probably already started reacting to Alton Sterling's death with "blue lives matter too" hashtags and reflexive debates about whether Sterling had a gun so the police were justified- and what would have been a lot of yelling is going to go a different route when someone tries throwing a punch.

People are trying to fight this. But the counter argument is so dug in that it may take a public clash to make us all wake up to how dug in to our opposing sides we are, and that may rally more people to the notion that "hey, we gotta do something to stop this shit."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:16 AM on July 7, 2016 [5 favorites]


What is amazing to me - truly amazing - is that black people aren't shooting cops at random as these murders keep on occurring. They're demonstrating a tremendous amount of restraint. I can't help but wonder how long they will continue doing so.
posted by dancestoblue at 2:38 AM on July 7, 2016 [4 favorites]


This country is going to burn. It's a tinder box and we amidst an extremely volitile election. My only hope is that it will maybe, just maybe force real change.

This country has been like this since before its inception. But sure, it's that the media landscape changed enough for you to notice that signifies the beginning of the end.
posted by rorgy at 3:14 AM on July 7, 2016 [8 favorites]




And it just makes me think... no one is benefiting from these murders. No one.

Some of the shooters have had collections taken up in their name. So they benefited quite nicely via people giving them money.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:53 AM on July 7, 2016 [16 favorites]


What is amazing to me - truly amazing - is that black people aren't shooting cops at random as these murders keep on occurring.

The people who the cops are murdering aren't people who would ever consider killing anyone or who know anyone who'd ever consider killing anyone. The cops seem to know how to keep away from places where there's actually any violence, from my reading of the reports.
posted by ambrosen at 3:55 AM on July 7, 2016 [9 favorites]


>“we give officers normally a day or so to go home and think about it.”

Perhaps they should take a day or so to go home and think about it before shooting someone.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 4:11 AM on July 7, 2016 [11 favorites]




The disgust and outrage Abdullah Muflahi is expressing about the killing of his welcome friend outside his own store reminds me of the case of Earl Sampson and Alex Saleh. It's another damning indictment of police culture that they can totally disregard the input of business owners about what is transpiring at their own businesses.
posted by Drinky Die at 4:44 AM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


This country is going to burn.

Talk like this, as a brown man with a brown family, makes my blood run cold. You are writing us off. If you are aware of the problem, as a white person, please do not despair, or become apathetic. Or wait for things to shake out as things go to shit for us minorities. Do something to help stop it.


100%. Wringing your hands and making jokes about climate change and meteors and Trump is not appropriate or clever or helpful. If you are not actively fighting to make things better, in this and in every political thing that matters, please just be quiet, or donate money to those who are fighting and vote. Work.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 4:55 AM on July 7, 2016 [14 favorites]


What the fuck is up with the responses to @lilisolomon's tweet? I just...woah.
posted by snuffleupagus at 4:56 AM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


The benefit is to a white supremacist system. How quickly do white folks all over the country figure that the cops had good reason to do what they did? How quickly do irrelevant arrest (not conviction, as if that even mattered) records start showing up on dead men?

White people need to believe that the police are working for THEM, and the killing of "no-account" Black folk helps their base believe.

White folks, we have to say it over and over, we have to be visible ... these cops are not making us safer. They are destroying our humanity.
posted by allthinky at 4:57 AM on July 7, 2016 [4 favorites]


What the fuck is up with the responses to @lilisolomon's tweet? I just...woah.

What? It's just people being people on the internet, wanting to argue "facts" and "logic".
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:07 AM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


Daily News in New York this morning (graphic, FYI)

I woke up this morning to another Black man's name as a hashtag. I'm not even sure to express my anger and my fear, especially for my nieces and nephews, who are growing up in this world.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:09 AM on July 7, 2016 [5 favorites]


I spent my early twenties railing angrily against the surveillance state, and against whatever perceived Orwellian slant it was giving the world. A decade later, with everyone now carrying a miniature video camera at all times, I've decided to take the opposite tack and steer into the skid. I bought a dashboard camera. I have an app that live-uploads video somewhere that it can't be destroyed by physically destroying the phone. If Google Glass had caught on, my wife would probably refuse to be seen in public with me as I went full gargoyle, but I for sure would have done it. I want to volunteer time or money to help put similar measures into the hands of everyone, because that is the only way this kind of shit is ever going to stop. Video makes such an enormous difference that I am convinced it should become our greatest ally in the coming fight against the police.

A short aside: after years of making periodic complaints about MBTA drivers doing insane things on the roads, the stars aligned last week. While I was sitting at a red light, a bus pulled out from behind me, into the oncoming traffic lane, and blew through the long-since-red light. I was aghast, but realized that my dashboard cam was running, and the whole incident was on film. After reporting it to the complaint line, and predictably hearing nothing back, I threw it up on the Boston sub-Reddit. It exploded. The difference between eyewitness accounts and video evidence cannot be overstated. I've been doing interviews with local news stations, and watching the T get raked over the coals by the same people who have shrugged their shoulders when I've described much worse behavior.

If the cops won't wear their body cameras, then fuck it, we'll do the surveilling for them. Even if these sociopaths never face charges (and let's be realistic about the political climate in Baton Rouge, and accept that they very well might not), we can make them afraid to leave their houses for fear of the constant abuse they will take as they walk the streets of their own city. This isn't what I want my democracy to look like, but I will do whatever it takes to stop these monsters.
posted by Mayor West at 5:13 AM on July 7, 2016 [112 favorites]


I'm beginning to think that we need to radicalize the scads of underemployed young lawyers --including minority law students who were enticed to attend a second or third rate law school only to find the out that the bad shape of the industry combines with structural racism and school snobbery in hiring and promotion to put the more desirable and profitable career prospects out of reach.

Get those kids in a reasonably funded public interest firm and then just start suing the cops, city managers, police commissioners, school board axemen, mayors, etc. Literally make Federal cases out of run-of-the-mill police encounters and practices.
posted by snuffleupagus at 5:15 AM on July 7, 2016 [30 favorites]


This is via FB, from a journalist:

It's happening tomorrow. I'm taking my sons out and having "the talk" with them. I'm tell them - for the first time - that cops aren't all like Captain America. They're not all heroes.

I'm going to take away their innocence. Tomorrow, they'll learn that they're different.

I'll explain why I send them back to their rooms to put on nicer clothes for a trip to Home Depot. I'll explain why I make them behave like miniature tax accountants when we go out for lunch at McDonalds. And I'll explain why I can never let them have a toy gun, even if it's bright orange and shoots water.

And I'm going to explain why those rules don't apply other kids in our neighborhood.

I'm dreading it more than I can tell you.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:17 AM on July 7, 2016 [88 favorites]


What is amazing to me - truly amazing - is that black people aren't shooting cops at random as these murders keep on occurring. They're demonstrating a tremendous amount of restraint. I can't help but wonder how long they will continue doing so.

Seriously? That surprises you?

Does it surprise you because you think shooting cops at random would be the right reaction?
Or just because you expected black people to react that way?
posted by sour cream at 5:20 AM on July 7, 2016 [23 favorites]


[The above journalist is white, but his children are brown.]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:20 AM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


shall we (white folks) protest not just with our words but with our bodies? civil disobedience (organizing to go to jail ourselves, in numbers, in protest - in solidarity with black folks, as tribal/proxy penitence for the ways of white folks) seems appropriate. let our own mothers suffer, let our own children cry.

(with apologies for speaking in b/w binary)

this is the thing that has meaning to me now.

how to begin?
posted by anshuman at 5:23 AM on July 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


Another one this morning.
She says as Castile was reaching for his wallet, he informed officers that he had a firearm in his possession, and a conceal-and-carry permit.

Reynolds says in the video that an officer then shot her boyfriend four times.

The officer in the video at one point screams, “I told him not to reach for it! I told him to get his hand out …”

Reynolds tells the officer, “You told him to get his I.D., sir, his driver’s license.”
Jesus fucking Christ. If this was a white guy he'd be alive.
posted by Talez at 5:24 AM on July 7, 2016 [29 favorites]


I feel sick and dizzy and angry and confused this morning. This. Shit. Must. Stop.

I encourage everyone who has a smartphone to install an app like Fi-Vo Film (not free, but cheap – I am not affiliated). Put it on your home screen in an easily remembered location. It'll automatically start filming when you launch the app, and it'll automatically upload the video to your Dropbox account as soon as you stop recording.

Of course, if we've learned anything over the last few years, it's that cops can murder unarmed civilians in broad daylight, recorded from multiple camera angles, and get away with it. But the threat of cameras can encourage officers to think twice before they act. And maybe, just maybe, after enough videos like this, America will wake the fuck up.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 5:33 AM on July 7, 2016 [9 favorites]


There was a 3am protest outside the governor's mansion and I assume something else will be organized (I didn't go, didn't know about it and would have had trouble getting there)Black Lives Matter MPLS twitter

I am sure that the BLM MPLS facebook and twitter will announce whatever else gets put together. IME they tend to put things up pretty last minute, so keep an eye out.

If I can get the time off work or it's at a time I can attend, I will be going and would be happy to meet any other mefites who want to attend - you can memail me. If it's during the workday on short notice, I won't be able to, though.

The BLM MPLS facebook page also has the number to call to demand that the police release his girlfriend.
posted by Frowner at 5:34 AM on July 7, 2016 [8 favorites]


Know justice, know peace.

“Peace is more than the absence of war. Peace is accord. Harmony.”
― Laini Taylor, Daughter of Smoke & Bone

Or, Prince, Baltimore
posted by petebest at 5:46 AM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


Seriously? That surprises you?

Does it surprise you because you think shooting cops at random would be the right reaction?
Or just because you expected black people to react that way?


I think we can all agree that if you're a black man who is interacting with the police, there's a blanket risk that you're going to be summarily executed for the crime of being black and interacting with the police. Exactly what that risk is depends a lot on circumstances, but it's certainly not zero, and as you get into certain parts of the country, it gets a whole lot closer to 1 than any of us are comfortable admitting. Assuming your top priority is to survive the encounter, what does that number need to be before pre-emptively opening fire becomes the superior option?

That's not a hypothetical question. Seriously, what's the number? If it's above .5 (it's a 50/50 shot that you're going to survive the encounter), you stand a much better chance of living to tell the tale by ambushing the duty cop, then lying facedown with your hands behind your head and waiting to be arrested. The ensuing barrage of media coverage will guarantee enough visibility that you won't be killed during the arrest. Sure, you'll spend the rest of your life in prison, but your life was forfeit the moment those flashing lights came on, and at least you still get to see your kids once a month.

If it's even marginally likely (say a 1% chance of being killed), then what's your moral obligation to your fellow citizens? At the point where law enforcement is willing to act as judge, jury, and executioner, and they can't be reigned in by any federal authority, then which is more morally repugnant: acting in pre-emptive self-defense, or submitting to them, risking your own life, and (if you survive) offloading the risk to whoever they stop tomorrow for a broken taillight?

These are horrifying things to even type out, but this is what law enforcement has done to themselves. When police departments become extrajudicial killers, civilians shooting at law enforcement might actually become the best course of action. And that shouldn't be read as an endorsement of violence against police; it should be read as the police needing a horrible wakeup call about what they're doing to their own people.
posted by Mayor West at 5:50 AM on July 7, 2016 [5 favorites]


If it's above .5 (it's a 50/50 shot that you're going to survive the encounter), you stand a much better chance of living to tell the tale by ambushing the duty cop, then lying facedown with your hands behind your head and waiting to be arrested.

Let's say these assholes get off even though the guy was on the ground with a cop kneeling on his head. If there's a 50-50 chance you won't survive the encounter unarmed what do you think the chances of surviving are if you kill a cop and then surrender?

You don't argue with someone who buys ink by the barrel. You don't start an armed war with people that can legally posses automatic weapons.
posted by Talez at 5:56 AM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


Okay, I've seen three comments so far by clueless white men already trying to derail this into some kind of macho or racist fantasy about hyperviolent black people going vigilante on the police, and I've flagged all of them. Please don't fucking contribute to this ignorant nonsense or try to engage it or let it overwhelm this thread. If you are a white man whose reaction to these horrifying videos is to want to talk about how black men need to (or are going to) start shooting cops, you need to take a breath, think about Darren Wilson describing Michael Brown as an "it" and a "demon", think about the fear and assumptions of intrinsic black violence that led to the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philandro Castile, and keep your feelings to yourself. Maybe go read some of the recent studies on the racial empathy gap if your knee jerk reaction to seeing black people in pain is "what if they go on a rampage". Turning this thread into some bizarre white fantasy moment is not acceptable.
posted by moonlight on vermont at 5:58 AM on July 7, 2016 [129 favorites]


The repetitiveness of this highlighted in the article is an interesting and profoundly depressing element of this.

This has made me think - what is "the script" for these crimes? What *always* happens.

Here is an attempt at a list. What am I missing or is incorrect?

Hour zero: An unarmed black person is killed by a white police officer(s).
Hour two: a low quality cellphone video emerges of the crime. It looks very damning.
Hour three: the victim's name begins trending on twitter
Day one: Black protest marches begin
Day three: there is some minor violence or inconvenience caused by the protesters, mainstream public opinion turns against them
Subsequent week: The police drip feed the minor criminal history of the victim to the media.
Two or three weeks out: various facts emerge which disrupt the police narrative - physical evidence, eye witnesses, previous accusations against the perpetrator.
Two or three months later: the offender is acquited or charged with minor offences.
Three months out: the national media conversation moves on.
Six months out: investigative journalists write long pieces on the crime. It's generally concluded that the police officer was guilty.
posted by Erberus at 6:03 AM on July 7, 2016 [27 favorites]


Sure, you'll spend the rest of your life in prison, but your life was forfeit the moment those flashing lights came on, and at least you still get to see your kids once a month.

There is, of course, also racist sentencing systems in place to go along with the racist policing.

"In 82% of the studies [reviewed], race of the victim was found to influence the likelihood of being charged with capital murder or receiving the death penalty, i.e., those who murdered whites were found more likely to be sentenced to death than those who murdered blacks."
posted by dng at 6:04 AM on July 7, 2016 [6 favorites]


I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry. I feel helpless so I can't even begin to imagine what POC feel like right now and always. I'm so, so sorry.

I will be doing my research today. I'll be speaking up. I will attend protests and reform marches and whatever else I can do to lend my voice, however small it is, to the outcry.

This has to stop. It never should have started in the first place, obviously.
posted by cooker girl at 6:05 AM on July 7, 2016 [4 favorites]


Subsequent week: The police drip feed the minor criminal history of the victim to the media.

This starts about minute five not the subsequent week.
posted by Talez at 6:06 AM on July 7, 2016 [29 favorites]


I don't think it's a "macho or racist fantasy about hyperviolent black people", I think it's a clueless white person's reaction to their dawning realization of how much shit Black folk put up with.
posted by whuppy at 6:06 AM on July 7, 2016 [12 favorites]


Deep, deep sigh, this happened like a bike ride away from where I am at this moment.

For a family to drive through on Larpenteur from place to place is perfectly normal. Bottom line before I ramble on too much: yes, there's no excuse for what happened. But I can tell you from a closer-in perspective as someone who lives here, who drives down that very street several times a week, there's REALLY no excuse for what happened, all the legitimate reasons that you may have already come up with as to why there's no excuse for this are not only correct, but they're put into very, very high focus by this.

There's a lot of things I could say. I might pop in later in an observation or two. I'll just say that I've been impressed by local BLM people, they're good people, and they've got a tough job ahead of themselves this morning.
posted by gimonca at 6:07 AM on July 7, 2016 [6 favorites]


White kid walks into city hall tripping on shrooms? Wrestle with police, grab one of their guns, FIRE IT, still alive.
posted by Talez at 6:12 AM on July 7, 2016 [14 favorites]


CNN has an interview with Philandro Castile's mother and uncle.
posted by prefpara at 6:15 AM on July 7, 2016


.
posted by clawsoon at 6:17 AM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


Last night, before the Castillo info was being circulated, I posted simply (Insert Next) in this thread. It got deleted. I get why, but I hope it' is now clear that it is a statement, not a flippant shit post. It is not going to stop today either. Tomorrow, Saturday, next week, you're going to read another story that is similar.
posted by cashman at 6:19 AM on July 7, 2016 [14 favorites]


When police departments become extrajudicial killers, civilians shooting at law enforcement might actually become the best course of action.

I started having this line of wondering back during the Christopher Dorner manhunt, when cops shot the shit out of a couple of unrelated vehicles they thought -might- have been his without confirming their targets. All that's happened since then hasn't done much to make me feel more sanguine about the job they're doing.
posted by Archelaus at 6:21 AM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


moonlight on vermont: Maybe go read some of the recent studies on the racial empathy gap if your knee jerk reaction to seeing black people in pain is "what if they go on a rampage".

I've heard a lot over the past couple of decades about police forces reaching out to minority communities so that the minority communities will not fear them. It seems like maybe the opposite needs to happen: Police officers need to learn not to fear members of minority communities. Yes, there are some officers killing coldly, for the fun of it, but it seems like in a few of the videos the officers are shaking with fear, their mind having instantly twisted the young black man in front of them into a killer thug demon who wants their blood.

(And I bet that happens with juries, too, and that's part of why there are so many acquittals. Young black man: Potential killer. Young black man with gun, permit or not: Killer. Must be killed in self-defense. Totally justified.)

Maybe we need some kind of program where police officers get to know young black men as people, so they're not so scared of them. I dunno how that would work. It would take too long, anyway, and something needs to happen sooner than that.
posted by clawsoon at 6:30 AM on July 7, 2016 [16 favorites]


I feel helpless so I can't even begin to imagine what POC feel like right now and always.

For me personally, it feels like that Farside cartoon, the one with a deer born with a target on its chest, which causes another deer to comment "Bummer of a birthmark Hal".

Except it's not funny, that birthmark just happens to be your skin and the cold hard fact is that it just might get you killed.

Recently I offered to help a co-worker with one of her stories by agreeing to go downtown and pick up a book. One of the people she interviewed had decided to just leave a book on their porch for the writer to swing by and grab whenever she could. After I offered to do that, since the writer was busy, there was a brief discussion about whether that was a good idea for me, the large black guy, to just go and pick up something off someone's porch, because...well, you know. There was little chance of anything happening, but isn't that always the case? The wrong move at the wrong time, can get a black person killed in America. It's just something you have to be aware of.

Nothing happened, this time.

My last interaction with police was on a sleepy Sunday morning at work. I had entered the wrong code when entering the building and the police had been silently notified. I was oblivious of all this, sitting at my desk, pointing and clicking on the computer. A knock on the window startled me and I looked up. I saw a policeman standing at the window and he pointed to the front door. I realized what had happened, silently cursed myself for typing in the wrong alarm code and went to the front door, which would leave me out of the cops sight for a few seconds. So I did the life math on how this could go down, reminded myself to use 'sir' and 'please' and generally control the situation while not fighting what might happen.

Nothing happened, this time.

The cops were polite and professional, reminding me to call the alarm company and be careful in the future, and then to have a nice day. Nothing happened, but you were probably tensing up as I described it. Because that's the reality, shit can bad in an instant.

I should go back over to the Juno thread, where it was lot of fun watching and celebrating humanity put a spacecraft in orbit around another planet. It was immensely enjoyable reading and participating in the thread and there's new information to share. But today...today I am distracted from examples of the best of humanity by examples of the worst of humanity, because it seems like something is always happening, at some time.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:31 AM on July 7, 2016 [147 favorites]


I wish that we didn't have to commodify police violence and share it over and over and turn death and violence into gifs to get white Americans to take notice. I can't imagine how traumatizing it is for black Americans to live with this fear on a day to day basis, and then watch these videos on twitter and facebook and CNN and Fox News. Watching videos of black men dying, over and over and over, further dehumanizes an already dehumanized group of people in the US. we weren't moved enough to do something after watching Tamir, Eric Garner. At what point does showing these videos over and over stop making a difference and just become exploitative?
posted by ChuraChura at 6:33 AM on July 7, 2016 [4 favorites]


I've said it before, and I'll say it again: The procedure for this must be to fire any police officer who kills someone. I don't care if the cop kills an actual murderer caught in the act of murdering someone who has his gun to the head of another person, it is not the job of the police to carry out capital punishment, and when they do, they have failed in their actual job of preventing crime or catching criminals. And that now-former police officer doesn't get a union lawyer or a job at the PBA "sweeping floors". He or she (ha) is immediately arrested and given a public defender and kept away from other cops until the trial, for murder. Let a jury decide whether it was a justified shooting, not a police review board that will be thinking What if it was me in this situation?

And even if it was a 100 percent justified shooting, that former cop doesn't get hired back. Let 'em find some other precinct that wants to deal with hiring a known killer of a fellow human being.
posted by Etrigan at 6:34 AM on July 7, 2016 [44 favorites]


[Let's drop the debate on the desirability of counterviolence — I can't see it going anywhere good.]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane (staff) at 6:34 AM on July 7, 2016 [9 favorites]


"Maybe the solution is that brutalized minority groups should have to take up arms and violently overthrow the legal authorities in order to be treated as full-fledged human beings" is at best an ill-considered idea to put out there, and at worst more or less fanning the flames of "HE'S GOT A GUN! HE'S GOT A GUN!*" that's one of the primary causes of that brutalization.

(* not really, he's just black)
posted by tocts at 6:34 AM on July 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


I don't think it's a "macho or racist fantasy about hyperviolent black people", I think it's a clueless white person's reaction to

it's up to us clueless white people to realize that our reactions are tainted by racist ideas of the magical negro, even if we really think they aren't and that when we react by thinking black men should just go on a shooting spree, we're still engaging in fantasies about hyperviolent black people.
posted by nadawi at 6:36 AM on July 7, 2016 [16 favorites]


is lavisha reynolds out and safe? where is her daughter?
posted by nadawi at 6:39 AM on July 7, 2016 [6 favorites]


U.S. Justice Department says it is "aware" of the police shooting death of #PhilandoCastile and is "assessing the situation.”

FWIW, the woman's name is Lavish Reyonlds, not Lavisha.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:46 AM on July 7, 2016


Nadawi, when twitter was calling the police department that took her in for questioning last night, they claimed to have released her at around 1AM Central Time. The woman I got ahold of said, "she's on her way home, she's on her own" and claimed she had never been detained or formally taken into custody and that being "interviewed" didn't qualify as either of those things. Reloading her name on twitter rn.
posted by moonlight on vermont at 6:46 AM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


FWIW, the woman's name is Lavish Reyonlds, not Lavisha.

It looks like "Lavish" is just her Facebook handle.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:47 AM on July 7, 2016


via John Lewis, on Facebook: 55 yrs ago today I was released from Parchman Penitentiary after being arrested in Jackson for using a so-called "white" restroom.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:47 AM on July 7, 2016 [10 favorites]


Do we know yet who the cop was that committed the murder? I haven't yet been able to find the name of the murderer in these early stories.
posted by Greg Nog at 6:48 AM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


"Dangling" body cameras? I would love to see statistics about how many times body cams have been disabled in situations where they would be awfully useful in cases where police misconduct is suspected. My public defender partner, who works in just one small jurisdiction in this country, has some pretty damning anecdotal evidence about this.

I'm really glad that body cameras are becoming more common, but now we need strong law behind them to prevent this from happening. If it can be proven that an officer deliberately alters or prevents a body camera from working properly, they should be charged. If a body cam stops working or is lost for any reason at all, even truly accidental, the police department should be open to huge civil lawsuits.
posted by mayonnaises at 6:49 AM on July 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


I don't really understand how federal/state criminal law works in the US. In Canada all criminal law is federal; provinces have no jurisdiction to make criminal law. So somebody explain this to me...If I understand correctly, when a federal criminal law is broken, it's not the municipal or state police that investigate and not the state that prosecutes, right? It's the FBI and the US Attorney? This is my understanding based on TV.

And my understanding also, is that it's a FEDERAL crime to kill a police officer, yes? Is there a way to make it a federal crime to murder while on duty as a police officer? I realize that regulating the criminal is different from regulating the victim. In Canada you can't make something a crime for some people and not others based on particular characteristics gender/race/ethnicity etc. because of guarantees of "equality under the law" but I expect occupation/doing the occupation at the time of the crime would be ok. Is the set-up similar so a federal law like that would be possible?

If so, it seems like one thing that needs to happen here is that this needs to go federal and their needs to be an agency (maybe the FBI, maybe an agency formed for the purpose) to investigate every police shooting in the country. In Ontario there's a province-wide agency that investigates any time anyone is injured or killed when an office is present. The agency isn't affiliated with any police department. It's obviously not perfect, but it's better than having these things investigated (and having cops know they will be investigated) by people who are fundamentally/emotionallly on their side and pre-disposed to sharing their point of view before they even show up. And of course as long as "internal affairs" works for the PD in question, they have a conflict of interest, since it's in the interest of the PD to not seem corrupt, racist, or incompetent.

Can Obama set up a nation-wide investigation unit by executive order? Would it be (constitutionally) possible to make murder by police officers a federal crime? Would it be politically feasible to do so?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 6:51 AM on July 7, 2016 [4 favorites]


I would support a presumption of guilt for a non-functioning or malfunctioning body camera. Or you can choose not to carry a gun. Either way.
posted by prefpara at 6:52 AM on July 7, 2016 [6 favorites]


I'm really glad that body cameras are becoming more common, but now we need strong law behind them to prevent this from happening.

"If your body camera is not operating to a certain standard, for any reason whatsoever, you are not a police officer and are not entitled to any of the protections that the law and your union contract grant to police officers."
posted by Etrigan at 6:52 AM on July 7, 2016 [33 favorites]


her name is also being reported as diamond, but some people are saying that's the name of the 4yr old who watched a cop kill her father.

and why was she being 'interviewed' for so many hours after she watched their colleague murder her partner?

i know some of these questions don't have answers, i'm just howling into the wind.

i wonder if any of the police involved threw out candy on the pride parade float...
posted by nadawi at 6:52 AM on July 7, 2016 [6 favorites]


I often wonder why there isn't a racial justice legal taskforce, funded by IDK the NAACP? A group of lawyers, researchers, and PR folks whose only job is to immediately activate and descend on these situations, guaranteeing that the victims and their families get absolutely fucking stellar legal representation immediately, seasoned advocacy for media management, and a oppositional research team to counter the sorts of extra-legal moves ("taking" private surveillance video, "detaining" witnesses, "leaking" criminal records of victims) police departments inevitably make in these situations. If police and the governmental organizations knew that every time a questionable killing or other travesty occurred, they would be facing a professional organization with pockets deep enough to make absolutely sure that justice was served, regardless of time, cost, and trouble, rather than a scattered rag-tag and usually ineffective protest movement, you might see some reforms.
posted by Chrischris at 6:52 AM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


If your body camera is not operating to a certain standard, for any reason whatsoever, you are not a police officer and are not entitled to any of the protections that the law and your union contract grant to police officers."

So if a criminal blocks or breaks the camera of an officer before murdering them, it's just regular murder and not killing a peace officer?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 6:53 AM on July 7, 2016


So if a criminal blocks or breaks the camera of an officer before murdering them, it's just regular murder and not killing a peace officer?

Yes, that will certainly happen in our comic-book world of criminals who make and adhere to really good plans.

And frankly, laws that supercriminalize killing police officers aren't helping.
posted by Etrigan at 6:55 AM on July 7, 2016 [24 favorites]


So if a criminal blocks or breaks the camera of an officer before murdering them, it's just regular murder and not killing a peace officer?

Sorry, forgot my other sarcastic answer:

You're right. Police equipment should be based largely on the worst-case scenario of what a criminal might do with it. So why do they carry guns?
posted by Etrigan at 6:58 AM on July 7, 2016 [19 favorites]


Louisiana just enacted a "Blue Lives Matter" law

I just can't understand the fuckery behind people who see footage of a black man being executed by police and their first thought is for the feelings of other cops who might overhear us discussing it.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:00 AM on July 7, 2016 [4 favorites]




And frankly, laws that supercriminalize killing police officers aren't helping.

Yeah, right after I posted that, I thought to ask myself why killing a cop should be a crime different from killing anyone else. I did not come up with any particularly good answer.

But I don't think it's crazy to think any law like that should be strict liability (prove you didn't mess with it and made every effort to keep it operational) rather than absolute liability (even if you were frantically trying to repair the camera that was damaged by a freak meteor strike to your chest, too bad for you!). I don't think that's basing it on the worst thing a criminal might do, I think it's just applying consistent standards of intent across different laws.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 7:01 AM on July 7, 2016


Diamond "Lavish" Reynolds is speaking to a crowd in front of the Governor's mansion in Saint Paul MN right now. IDK if her daughter is with her, but she's out of police custody.

https://twitter.com/ShaymusKM/status/751053704002953216
posted by moonlight on vermont at 7:05 AM on July 7, 2016 [8 favorites]


More from the Washington Post, adding to what roomthreeseventeen posted above: "...an organized group that specifically seeks out violent crimes using police scanners with the intention of filming them, not for the purpose of exposing police but to deter young people from crime."

That's an interesting reason.
posted by clawsoon at 7:07 AM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]




This happened 5 miles from my office. I can't even.
posted by odinsdream at 7:08 AM on July 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'd also like to see a prosecutorial discretion override for "police-involved shootings." Make them explain it to a jury.
posted by prefpara at 7:08 AM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


Killing a police officer is already more severely punished than killing an ordinary citizen. The purpose of "Blue Lives Matter" laws is to extend a middle finger to BLM by twisting hate crime law into a statement of support for cops.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:10 AM on July 7, 2016 [22 favorites]


"I was not released until 5 this morning. They took him 9 days before his birthday, it's night right, he took his last breath in front of us, they asked for his ID and before he got it out they shot him. I was taken to jail and separated me from my daughter. They didn't give me food or water. They tried to blame us. We followed procedure, and they shot him 5 times. They took my phone and threw it and had machine guns at my back. They took my lifeline. That was my best friend. I don't have anyone else. My daughter told me to be calm, that I will be okay, I held it together for her. "
- diamond reynolds speaking now
posted by nadawi at 7:11 AM on July 7, 2016 [51 favorites]


There's FB live video of her speaking. https://www.facebook.com/100002471166595/videos/1057539947671701/
posted by Mavri at 7:17 AM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


I live a few blocks away. I don't know what to feel right now.

.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:19 AM on July 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


Although I've been outraged by these racist police murders, and had a supportive position towards Black Lives Matter, I also had very much the luxury, as a white American, of also thinking of this of something far away from me. However, this morning that bubble has closed in a little when I read about the murder of Philandro Castile, who was the nephew-in-law of one of the people I've known longest in my life, the son of a wonderful family who i grew up next to in St. Anthony Park, St. Paul. Ages ago, the neighbor and I attended St. Paul Central, as Mr. Castile did much more recently. My heart is breaking for my neighbor and his family.
posted by Squeak Attack at 7:20 AM on July 7, 2016 [35 favorites]




I can't stop thinking about where that little girl spent the night, or who she was with.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:27 AM on July 7, 2016 [16 favorites]


I'm watching Diamond speaking live, it's unbearable to watch someone in so much pain. At around 5 minutes into that video she starts talking about how the police kept her for 4 hours after they were telling people she'd been released. When I spoke with the department on the phone there was a young woman on the other end of the line who could not have been more flippant, I could hear her fucking eyes rolling when she said "Oh I know who you mean" in response to "Diamond or Lavish" and when she said "she's on her own." Yeah, guess she was on her own. Kept in the station without food or water, separated from her little girl. How can you be so smug in the face of that kind of agony.
posted by moonlight on vermont at 7:29 AM on July 7, 2016 [33 favorites]


[One deleted; please don't bring stuff here from other venues just to show how offensive it is.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 7:31 AM on July 7, 2016 [4 favorites]


I am disgusted by the effort to smear every murder victim. As if any of the muck they find or invent could justify these killings.
posted by prefpara at 7:32 AM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


If people could shoot Tamir Rice and defend the shooting, christ could come down from the cross to bear witness for Philandro Castile and it would make no difference, because what drives people is not the desire to find out what happened but to feel good about violence done against a vulnerable person.
posted by Frowner at 7:32 AM on July 7, 2016 [37 favorites]


For My Son, In The Event The Police Leave You Fatherless
But in case the police to take me away from you forever, I want you to know some things. If I encounter police just know that I didn’t reach for their gun. I didn’t try to fight them. I didn’t resist arrest. I wasn’t a clear and present danger. Just know that if I’m approached by police, I’ll be thinking about you and your mother and your sister and how much I want to survive to be home and see you. As soon as the officer approaches me, I’ll wonder if I’ll ever see you again. I’ll want to fight or run but I know that’ll only increase the chances of you sobbing in front of cameras that don’t give a damn about how you’re feeling.

In the immediate days after my death, you will see pictures of me from college in baggy clothes, maybe with a drink in my hand. You will see old tweets where I made an off-color comment. You will see the media portray someone who seems like a complete stranger. Because he is. You know your father. Better than they do. You will know me and the man I am. Remember me as that man and not the one you see in the news reports that are used to make police look justified in their actions.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:33 AM on July 7, 2016 [38 favorites]


Goddammit.
posted by saulgoodman at 7:34 AM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


Diamond Reynolds is an incredibly admirably strong woman.

This is all so heartbreaking. murphy slaw's Twitter link of things to do seems like a good start. I'm not going to sit back and do nothing any longer, even though it feels like anything I can do will have absolutely no effect. This police bullshit has to stop.
posted by Fig at 7:34 AM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


The lies about victims of violence will never stop, because it's one of the ways certain parties convince themselves that they live in a just and orderly world where they're better than those people.

It's shameful, but it's apparently also cultural. If anyone has any suggestions on changing it, I'm keen to hear 'em, because my alternative seems to be screaming myself hoarse at idiocy, and that starts to wear on a body.
posted by Archelaus at 7:35 AM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


Christ was a dangerous gang leader who was inciting mob violence. Don't let the liberal media fool you into thinking his crucifixion was unjustified.
posted by prefpara at 7:35 AM on July 7, 2016 [16 favorites]


Seen on Twitter:
Shooting up a gay club: Everybody should be able to carry a gun! #AltonSterling murdered by cop: Welp, he shouldn't be carrying a gun! — @JenniDigital July 6, 2016
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:38 AM on July 7, 2016 [32 favorites]


Two calls to disarm the police from an evangelical and an atheist.

Fred Clark: The gun undermines the badge:
If American police derived their authority from badge or from office — from the rule of law or even merely of order — then we would expect them to be a reliable, trustworthy, concerned source of information about citizens killed by police. We would expect them to have some interest in such numbers — to care about them — if only as a matter of tradecraft.

But because American police have sidelined badge and office, relying instead on the gun as the source of their authority, they have little interest in tracking this. They care about such reporting only to the extent that they view such efforts as a threat — as a challenge to their primary source of authority.
PZ Myers: Disarm the police:
All those policemen patrolling the streets, looking for parking infractions or speeders or jaywalkers…they don’t need guns to do their job. Given that many of them are turning out to be bullying cowards, having a gun is even a detriment to their role of defending the law and the public peace.

So disarm them. Keep a few weapons back in the police station that can be issued to deal with specific situations in which they are necessary, but for the most part, guns are totally inappropriate for the job at hand. This would have a number of beneficial effects. For one, the swaggering assholes who need their firearm to be tough would quit, and good riddance to them. For another, the police would actually have to take non-violent approaches to confrontations seriously. Maybe they’d live up to the title of “peace officer”.
posted by palindromic at 7:45 AM on July 7, 2016 [51 favorites]


What his mother said:

she rushed to the scene, but was kept from reaching her son’s side. “I didn’t want my son to die alone,” she said. “I didn’t want to talk to anyone — I just wanted to get to my son, because I didn’t want my son to die alone.”

She also said she hasn’t been able to identify or claim her son’s body yet: “They didn’t let me see my son’s body, at all. I have not identified my son’s body because they wouldn’t let me.”
posted by prefpara at 7:45 AM on July 7, 2016 [8 favorites]


I went over to Free Republic to see the reaction there. There's plenty of vile racism, even more denial of racism, and a couple of conspiracy theories, as expected, but I was surprised at the amount of, "This was wrong, nobody deserves to be shot like this, we conservatives can't support this."

The videos do make a difference.
posted by clawsoon at 7:48 AM on July 7, 2016 [24 favorites]


You guys speculating about black people committing violence against cops -- you realize that's exactly the sort of talk that gets cops so amped up and ready to shoot every black man they stop on the streets, right?

Maybe that sort of thing isn't terribly helpful right now or ever?
posted by scaryblackdeath at 7:52 AM on July 7, 2016 [39 favorites]


can we not bring over what the freepers are saying??
posted by nadawi at 7:53 AM on July 7, 2016 [9 favorites]


What bothers me more is that news organizations keep on replaying this over and over. It's another way of dehumanizing him. Only video of black people getting shot is acceptable to glorify.

During times like this as a black person, I just need to stop watching all media.
posted by 81818181818181818181 at 7:53 AM on July 7, 2016 [12 favorites]




This is a great opportunity to call out the NRA and its supporters, conservative and otherwise. Because if the AREN'T racist, they should be SCREAMING about two lawful gun owners executed for exercising their right to carry in perfectly legitimate fashion.
posted by msalt at 7:54 AM on July 7, 2016 [66 favorites]


Apparently there is now a second video that shows there was no gun?
posted by Artw at 7:55 AM on July 7, 2016


Am I Going to Write About Murdered Black People Forever?
In the time it took me to write about one fatal police shooting, another occurred.
posted by Etrigan at 7:56 AM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


> You guys speculating about black people committing violence against cops -- you realize that's exactly the sort of talk that gets cops so amped up and ready to shoot every black man they stop on the streets, right?

Cops get amped over a Beyonce video because it was "hate speech" and there were calls from multiple PBAs for off-duty officers to refuse to volunteer to work security on her shows. So while I don't think that the comments here are necessarily constructive, the reason not to make them is not "because it might make cops more prone to violence." They don't need an excuse.
posted by rtha at 8:00 AM on July 7, 2016 [24 favorites]


In the time it took me to write about one fatal police shooting, another occurred.

God DAMN.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:01 AM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


I did some horrifying research recently. In The Troubles in Northern Ireland where Britain was using the literal army to keep order, the army killed 363 people over the course of 30 years. So far, just over half way through 2016, the US Police have killed 560 people. OK, so the figures aren't directly comparable and Northern Ireland is 1.8 million rather than 300 million.

But let me just repeat. Over the course of a 30 year campaign of terrorism and paramilitary violence the British Army killed far fewer than two thirds of the people the US Police have in six months and one week.
posted by Francis at 8:02 AM on July 7, 2016 [38 favorites]


Apparently there is now a second video that shows there was no gun?

Yeah, the store keeper's cell phone video seems to show he never had a gun in his hand. At most/worst, there's a bit at the end where the police might be removing a gun from his pocket he'd never even motioned toward.

You can find the video by searching for Alton Sterling second angle, but I just can't link to that.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:04 AM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


Damon Young: America, the Beautiful Fucking Joke:
It’s never been more obvious that America is a fucking farce. That “America” is actually a Mel Brooks-produced and directed depiction of America called America, where the crimes levied against Black people get increasingly and comically more graphic and more harrowing and more perplexing while we collectively attempt to find new ways to ignore or excuse them. Yesterday it was a man selling DVDs restrained by two police officers and shot by another. Last night it was a man in a car with his girlfriend and his girlfriend’s daughter murdered after doing, again, exactly what the officer asked him to do. What will it be tomorrow? A firing squad gunning a Charlotte grandmother down while she’s leaving Trader Joe’s? A 17-year-old honor student on his way to work rammed and impaled by a police cruiser? A pregnant school principle flayed alive by a group of plain clothed detectives who believed she was hiding weapons and weed in her skin?
posted by palindromic at 8:05 AM on July 7, 2016 [23 favorites]


I often wonder why there isn't a racial justice legal taskforce, funded by IDK the NAACP? A group of lawyers, researchers, and PR folks whose only job is to immediately activate and descend on these situations, guaranteeing that the victims and their families get absolutely fucking stellar legal representation immediately, seasoned advocacy for media management, and a oppositional research team to counter the sorts of extra-legal moves ("taking" private surveillance video, "detaining" witnesses, "leaking" criminal records of victims) police departments inevitably make in these situations. If police and the governmental organizations knew that every time a questionable killing or other travesty occurred, they would be facing a professional organization with pockets deep enough to make absolutely sure that justice was served, regardless of time, cost, and trouble, rather than a scattered rag-tag and usually ineffective protest movement, you might see some reforms.

Because no one should have to use their private funds and personal time to cajole the justice system into justness? Right now these cops, prosecutors, judges, and juries are not doing their jobs and upholding their responsibilities. That should be on them, not the rest of us.

That being said, if you're interested in this topic you might want to look into the work of Benjamin Crump and his law firm, who handle a lot of the civil cases related to this. You might also be interested in the way antitrust law functions - because violations in federal antitrust law can be difficult to detect, investigate, and prosecute, civil penalties (such as those handed down in class action litigation by private parties) are trebled (x 3), creating an incentive for private plaintiffs to sue, effectively enforcing the antitrust laws as "private attorneys general." On the other hand, civil and criminal actions against the police are intentionally hampered by disincentives such as the prior case law on what justifies the use of deadly force and broad protections for officers who were acting on the job (loosely defined).
posted by sallybrown at 8:14 AM on July 7, 2016 [7 favorites]




I often wonder why there isn't a racial justice legal taskforce, funded by IDK the NAACP?

Yeah, hey minorities, why aren't you doing more doesn't really seem to be helpful though.
posted by zutalors! at 8:19 AM on July 7, 2016 [19 favorites]


I will admit, I also have wondered when the violence against police is really going to start (especially after watching Malcolm X a few weeks ago). But the thing is, asking minorities to violently fight for the right not to be killed will not help unless white people fight in significant numbers too. Just laying it all on the minority groups does not help at all, and only gives police and racists more of an excuse to fear/abuse them.

Its the decades long debate about who was right, MLK or Malcolm X? Maybe it's not all one or the other but bits of both.
posted by LizBoBiz at 8:20 AM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


Linked in the Why American Cops Kill So Many Compared To European Cops article is this report by Amnesty International, which has chilled me right to my core.

All 50 states and Washington DC fail to comply with international law and standards on the use of lethal force by law enforcement officers;

Nine states and Washington DC currently have no laws on use of lethal force by law enforcement officers;

Thirteen states have laws that do not even comply with the lower standards set by US constitutional law on use of lethal force by law enforcement officers.

My state (Ohio) has no law on the use of lethal force. It's terrifying to see the state name and flag up in the corner of the page and a big, fat NO LAW right in the center. Fucking terrifying.
posted by cooker girl at 8:27 AM on July 7, 2016 [31 favorites]


My great-great-grandfather was a slave and through fortune and toil and pain and scorn our family clawed its way out of this most brutal and demeaning of lives. We won. They lost. But there is no justice. No justice. They lost, but they slaughter, and slaughter, and slaughter. No matter. We will cry and fight, and we will win.
posted by dmh at 8:28 AM on July 7, 2016 [44 favorites]


I will admit, I also have wondered when the violence against police is really going to start (especially after watching Malcolm X a few weeks ago)

It'll start when large numbers of white people are afraid of the police. Which'll happen when/if white people are small minority in America, about 30% or less, I'd guess.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:32 AM on July 7, 2016 [4 favorites]


There's a lot of legal taskforces nationwide that work on this stuff, often funded by groups like the NAACP. There's a lot of volunteers who work on this stuff for free. People do a lot of very boring, very policy-driven work but it is largely invisible. Around here, Black Lives Matter has been one of the groups which works on getting people to hearings and getting them to pack city council meetings, etc. BLM actually has won a few little victories locally, although my head hurts from getting to bed so late and I can't think of specifics, only of the fact that I found them heartening.

In re picking up the gun: such gun control laws as we have started getting support because black people were arming themselves. There's been all kinds of Black self defense organizations and individual community members and activists who have stood off lynch mobs, etc. Consider what happened to the Black Panthers. Being a white person, I don't know whether that way is blocked, but I do know that the state smashes down very, very hard on any kind of Black militancy, never mind armed kinds.

It feels like that movie whose name escapes me because of the tiredness where half the population is really evil aliens but you can only see them with the special glasses - half the white population (or more, god knows) is walking around thinking that this is perfectly okay and everything is fine.

If you twist the kaleidoscope it's like American history is actually revealed as a horror movie with monsters everywhere and the worst ending. Genocide, slavocracy, Jim Crow, lynching, police murders.
posted by Frowner at 8:37 AM on July 7, 2016 [12 favorites]


Linked in the Why American Cops Kill So Many Compared To European Cops article is this report by Amnesty International, which has chilled me right to my core.

There are all sorts of things that are under state jurisdiction in the US that the federal government forces the states' hands on, usually by the threat to withhold money. (e.g. the drinking age is 21 in ever state because otherwise states would lose highway funding, is my understanding). Can the federal government force appropriate use of force statutes to be passed by the same means? Allow force only to prevent imminent loss of life or serious injury or we don't fund [thing rich and middle class people like and have subsidized but like to imagine they built themselves. How about not allowing the mortgage interest tax deduction in states without use of force laws?]

It seems to obvious to me that the next move here belongs to the federal government because no one else can effectively do anything, but I don't understand well enough what's within their powers to know what they should do. A congressional inquiry seems like the very least. If congress can trouble itself with PEDs in baseball, surely this is more important.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 8:38 AM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


A reminder that this is not black people's problem to solve. This is white people's, and white people's alone. You benefit from white supremacy whether you speak up or not, but if you are silent, you are complacent. What do you imagine you would have done as an ordinary German citizen during Nazi rule? This is genocide, just slower and less organized.

I had a difficult conversation with my conservative father after Mike Brown and Eric Garner. He reflexively believed that because he'd always been treated with respect, that cops must be good, that the victims must have deserved it. I felt my blood pressure rising, but I stayed calm and talked it through. I had to step way back from the immediate events and talk about poverty, the prison-industrial complex, the breakdown of the family, etc in order to give context to systemic racism. He's still no liberal, but he's stopped automatically giving the benefit of the doubt to the police. It can be done.
posted by AFABulous at 8:38 AM on July 7, 2016 [51 favorites]


No words. Please tell me what to say. I have no words...
.
.
posted by haiku warrior at 8:38 AM on July 7, 2016


Man who filmed Eric Garner police chokehold death video to take plea deal in Staten Island weapons, drug case : He still feels he's a law enforcement target and has claimed that someone put rat pesticides in his food at Rikers Island so he’ll be taking precautions upstate by sticking to packaged commissary goods.

“I’m not going to eat the food that’s being provided," he said. “Hopefully I can raise enough money.”

posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:39 AM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


It'll start when large numbers of white people are afraid of the police.

For now, though, they can put hands on their open-carried weapon to threaten someone burning a flag of slave-owning traitors and get nothing but a "hey, now, cool it off" in response.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:39 AM on July 7, 2016 [5 favorites]


It feels like that movie whose name escapes me because of the tiredness where half the population is really evil aliens but you can only see them with the special glasses

They Live
posted by Etrigan at 8:39 AM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


Can anyone shed light on what statute(s) allowed the police to hold Lavish? It doesn't seem like she was suspected of any crime so why are the police able to detain her or is it more like she doesn't have the legal pull to demand to be let go and is probably too emotionally distraught to demand it?
posted by nakedmolerats at 8:40 AM on July 7, 2016 [4 favorites]


Nakedmolerats, I don't think anything about that detention was legal. If you search twitter for her name (either Lavish or Diamond) there are a ton of people who called in while she was being held last night who had those conversations recorded and put up transcripts were the police are straight up lying. "She's been released. She was not detained." "Are you aware you're giving a statement right now?" Not legal, lying on record, don't care.
posted by moonlight on vermont at 8:45 AM on July 7, 2016 [7 favorites]


so far the cops are claiming she was being interviewed. of course they also claim they let her out at 1am, even though she wasn't out until 5am. they also separated her from her daughter and didn't give her any food or water. my guess is there's some hand waving way to define it as something other than being detained and kidnapping her child because cops are above the law.
posted by nadawi at 8:45 AM on July 7, 2016 [33 favorites]


It seems to obvious to me that the next move here belongs to the federal government because no one else can effectively do anything, but I don't understand well enough what's within their powers to know what they should do. A congressional inquiry seems like the very least. If congress can trouble itself with PEDs in baseball, surely this is more important.


From the Amnesty International Report:

There is no federal statute governing the use of lethal force in the United States. The use of lethal force is governed by individual state statutes and US common law. The US Supreme Court has ruled that lethal force may not be used unless it is necessary to prevent escape of someone where the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect committed a crime involving the infliction or threatened infliction of serious physical harm or where the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others. In Tennessee v. Garner, the Court held that Tennessee’s statute was unconstitutional, noting that “Where the suspect poses no immediate threat to the officer and no threat to others, the harm resulting from failing to apprehend him does not justify the use of deadly force to do so … A police officer may not seize an unarmed, non-dangerous suspect by shooting him dead. The Tennessee statute is unconstitutional insofar as it authorizes the use of deadly force against such fleeing suspects.”80 In a second case, Graham v. Connor, the US Supreme Court established the standard by which a jury is to judge an officer’s actions in the use of force – namely whether an officer’s actions were “objectively reasonable in light of the facts and circumstances confronting them” and that the “reasonableness” of a particular use of force must be judged from the perspective of a “reasonable officer on the scene."
posted by cooker girl at 8:48 AM on July 7, 2016 [4 favorites]


"That was something we always discussed: comply," Valerie Castille told CNN. "That's the key thing — the key thing in order to try to survive being stopped by the police, is to comply. Whatever they ask you to do, do it. Don't say nothing. Just do whatever they want you to do. So what's the difference in complying, and you get killed anyway?"
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:48 AM on July 7, 2016 [21 favorites]


Sure, I saw that Cooker Girl, but it's not self-evident that "there's no federal statute" means "there cannot be a federal statute" and even if there cannot be a federal statute, that doesn't mean the federal government can't de facto force states to pass laws that say particular things. If they can do it with the drinking age (where every state has passed laws saying it must be 21 because the federal government threatened them into doing so), it seems like they could do it for use of force.

Of course the will would have to be there and many of those politicians don't care and represent people who also don't care. So is there a way to create change or force states' hands by executive order?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 8:58 AM on July 7, 2016


Well, the Senate won't even have meetings to vet a pretty uncontroversial Supreme Court Justice. So....
posted by cooker girl at 9:02 AM on July 7, 2016 [6 favorites]


What the fuck is up with the responses to @lilisolomon's tweet? I just...woah.

Definitely don't read the comments on the GoFundMe page linked above, either.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 9:06 AM on July 7, 2016


congress is too busy holding hearings on benghazi, hillary's emails, and considering 'religious freedom' bills. they'll get to the state sanctioned murder somewhere on the other side of never.
posted by nadawi at 9:08 AM on July 7, 2016 [23 favorites]


Police have killed 561 people in the US this year, 286 (51%) of whom were non-white (136 Black, 86 Latino); 82 of those 561 were completely unarmed. This does not include non-fatal police shootings. In 2015, 1146 people were killed by police, of whom 565 were non-white (306 Black, 195 Latino); 229 of those 1146 were completely unarmed (and of the 860 armed, 554 -- less than half of those killed -- had a gun).

I don't even know what 1707 dots looks like.

By contrast, 21 police officers have been fatally shot in the line of duty this year (of 53 total line-of-duty deaths, which also includes accidents); 39 last year. I am not sure how many encounters between cops & civilians there have been since 1 Jan 2015, but that number of encounters is the common denominator for both, and on a per-encounter basis, it looks like the civilians have... let's see, (1707/X)/(60/X)=28.4 ... civilians have nearly thirty times the risk of being shot per police encounter than the police do.
posted by Westringia F. at 9:12 AM on July 7, 2016 [11 favorites]


I guess I'm trying to understand what the structural solution here is. This is obviously a structural problem. The cops who do the killing should go to prison, but sending those individual cops to prison won't do much to change the structure. Sending cops to prison consistently would make a big difference, but again, that's not going to happen under the current structure.

It seems like agitating to send this cop to prison or that cop to prison is good and important, but not something that could solve the problem even if successful. The target of protests needs to be the structure. The demands need to be for changes to the structure, not just demands that individual cops be charged. So what are the structural changes that people should be demanding?

I've suggested a couple ( A) A federal agency responsible for investigating deaths and serious injuries involving police and federal prosecutions of police B) Statutes allowing force to be used only in cases of imminent danger to life (passed by either state or federal, forced by federal if necessary)) I'll throw another out there: Psychological (in the academic psychology department sense, not the clinical psychology sense) of police recruits to determine if they are scared of minorities. Disqualify those who are. I'm thinking of testing along the lines of the implicit association test.

These are ideas I'm throwing out there, admittedly as a person who has no firsts hand experience of the problem and with only limited knowledge of the US legal system, so I'm not saying "This is absolutely what must be done." I'm saying that I think those kinds of structural changes (not necessarily those specific ones) need to be on the list of demands that people make to change things. Charging individual cops is important and it needs to be done both for the sake of justice for the individuals killed and their families. But it's not enough. The ultimate goal of the movement should not be to make sure cops who kill people needlessly go to jail, but to change things so cops don't kill people needlessly. So I hope that there will be a transition towards demands aimed at reaching that ultimate goal.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 9:16 AM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm honestly surprised only 51% were non white. I would have expected 60-75%.
posted by sio42 at 9:17 AM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


I just realized I said the same thing like 5 times (yes, cops need to be charged). Sorry. I guess I'm worried that people might misinterpret and think I'm saying "forget the cops, look at this instead." which is not what I'm saying.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 9:19 AM on July 7, 2016


I don't even know what 1707 dots looks like.

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One for every person killed by a cop since the beginning of 2015.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 9:21 AM on July 7, 2016 [15 favorites]



It seems like agitating to send this cop to prison or that cop to prison is good and important, but not something that could solve the problem even if successful


But this hasn't happened at all. They haven't sent the cops to prison at all. Except that one who's Asian.
posted by zutalors! at 9:21 AM on July 7, 2016 [10 favorites]


Huh. Dylan Roof gets Burger King. Lavish Reynolds gets nothing.

My daughter is 9 years old, and I've already -- twice! -- had to have The Talk parents of black girls often need to have with them: telling her that, no, despite what she sees in media over and over and over again, white skin + fair, straight hair is not the absolute standard of beauty, rendering your dark skin and kinky hair ugly by default.

My son is 6 and although I have practiced The Talk parents of black boys need to have with them many times in recent years, my breath catches in my throat and my stomach ties itself in knots every time I think about actually having it. Right now, cops think of him as a cute little kid. They call him "Buddy," they give him stickers, talk to him like they think he's a decent person. Can't say for certain when he's going to transition from cute little kid to suspected killer/deadly unarmed combatant/imminent and critical threat to the safety of all officers and real Americans in their eyes, but I'm guessing it's going to be much sooner than anyone thinks.

With both kids, I'm going to have to have a Talk about how in just a little while, when they go into stores with their white friends, they will find the manager and/or employees watching them closely and following them around. Not every time -- it might actually be more bearable if it were every single time. But it'll be often enough to damage them. And about how whenever they're up to some mischief with white friends -- loud party, skateboarding where they shouldn't be, etc -- when any authority figure comes around, they're going to get extra hard looks regardless of their level of participation in whatever the precipitating activity is.

As I try to process these latest two killings (and think about the ones that aren't making national news), I feel that the next time someone produces a "modern edition" of The Bible, they should amend Matthew 25:38 - 45 to say something like:

"...For I was hungry and you did not feed me, I was killed while unarmed and struggling to comply with the keepers of the peace and you said I deserved to be killed.

And they too will reply, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and not feed you? When did we see you killed while unarmed and struggling to comply with the keepers of the peace and say you deserved to be killed?'

Then The Lord will answer, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you did not do for Me. And when you said the least of these my brothers and sisters deserved to be killed, you said it of Me."
posted by lord_wolf at 9:23 AM on July 7, 2016 [92 favorites]


If I only had a penguin..., this series of tweets describes what can be done, starting right now, to end this. If it doesn't feel like a grand enough gesture, it's because change can only begin by taking small steps. Grassroots, if you will.
posted by cooker girl at 9:24 AM on July 7, 2016 [11 favorites]


And I think it should happen. But if all 500+ cops who killed someone this year went to prison, I might say that was just, but if 500 people are killed by cops in the next 6 months, too, then I wouldn't say it was justice. Getting justice requires both that those cops who already killed people go to prison, and that there be far fewer deaths going forward.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 9:24 AM on July 7, 2016


If there are consequences you can expect to see change - thusfar there have been no consequences. Cops simply aren't held accountable for shootings, and are probably applauded for them within their ranks.
posted by Artw at 9:25 AM on July 7, 2016 [9 favorites]


You know what would be a real set of consequences? The cops who cover for other cops getting charged too.
posted by Artw at 9:26 AM on July 7, 2016 [43 favorites]


well lets just find out if actually holding the murderous cops responsible works at all, because we haven't honestly tried that, so saying it won't work isn't supported by evidence.
posted by nadawi at 9:26 AM on July 7, 2016 [21 favorites]


I'm saying "Throw those cops in jail and do this other thing, too" I guess I'm focussed on "do this other thing" because there's already lots of focus on "throw those cops in jail."

Thanks, CookerGirl...Call my cynical, but I see the words "city" and "local" and "department" in there far too much. I think things are corrupt to the point of unfixable at the level of the city or individual department. The change needs to come from above. It would be like trying to desegregate schools by passing by-laws board by board instead of having it come down federally. It never would have happened.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 9:28 AM on July 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


and yes! you file a false report to cover up murder committed by you or a fellow officer, you're charged under the felony murder rule. lets try that on for a few years, see what happens.
posted by nadawi at 9:30 AM on July 7, 2016 [21 favorites]


well lets just find out if actually holding the murderous cops responsible works at all, because we haven't honestly tried that, so saying it won't work isn't supported by evidence.

Murderous cops will never be consistently held responsible under the current structure. According to that Amnesty International report, what they're doing may not even violate the law. The structure needs to change to one where murderous cops know there's a high probability they will be held responsible. That's never going to happen when it's the very police department they work for that is responsible for investigating and collecting evidence, and the very government they work for responsible for deciding if they should be prosecuted.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 9:31 AM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


It would be like trying to desegregate schools by passing by-laws board by board instead of having it come down federally. It never would have happened.

Same-sex marriage started out as a local issue and worked its way up.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:32 AM on July 7, 2016 [7 favorites]


One thing I am confused about in the video from Diamond Reynolds -- Philando Castile is in the right front seat, behind the steering wheel: was the video flipped or were they in a right-hand drive car for some reason?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:32 AM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


It just really seems like magical thinking that all of a sudden the Federal government is going to get their act together and decree...something. There are concrete things you as an individual can be doing RIGHT NOW, spelled out by a POC and it feels like you're saying it's not good enough, it's not big enough, and I think that's a cop out (no pun intended).
posted by cooker girl at 9:33 AM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


As far as adding a federal law goes, anything with even a hint of "anti-cop", "soft on crime" or gun control language will be impossible as long as the current Republican party controls any branch of government.

It'd be politically tricky no matter what, but right now, many conservatives are doubling down on the "Cops are heroes" narrative, evidence be damned.
posted by tau_ceti at 9:33 AM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


... I've just had a look at the Iraq Body Count Database. If the American police killed 1146 people last year (and are on course for about the same number of people this year), they killed more people last year than the US and coalition military (excluding Iraqi troops) have done in Iraq every year from 2005 onwards except 2007. If we include the Iraqi troops they killed more people than the Coalition military did any year between 2008 and 2013.

That isn't policing! That's a military occupation!

(And before some wiseass points out that the US has ten times as many people as Iraq, (a) think about the comparison, and (b) even when we include the Iraqi military there are several years since the invasion where the death rate in Iraq is lower than it was from the police in America last year).
posted by Francis at 9:34 AM on July 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


So I'll rephrase my point and bow out: Let's demand changes to the structure so that under the new structure, there are fewer murderous cops (via screening and training) and those who remain can expect that they will consistently end up in prison (via changing the statutes that govern this and the procedures for investigating and prosecuting and removing conflicts of interest in those procedures). Having a structure that ensures consistent prosecution and conviction will also reduce the number of murderous cops.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 9:36 AM on July 7, 2016


They haven't sent the cops to prison at all. Except that one who's Asian.

If you're referring to Peter Liang, he served no jail time even though he was convicted of manslaughter.
posted by Mavri at 9:38 AM on July 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


Was reminded of a previous mefi post, The Eleven Nations of America.
"There’s never been an America, but rather several Americas—each a distinct nation. There are eleven nations today. Each looks at violence, as well as everything else, in its own way."
And I wonder how these viewpoints have evolved into where we are now.
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:42 AM on July 7, 2016 [5 favorites]


NYC folk - there is a demonstration at 5 pm in Union Square today.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:43 AM on July 7, 2016


I promised to bow out but I hadn't previewed...

It just really seems like magical thinking that all of a sudden the Federal government is going to get their act together and decree...something. There are concrete things you as an individual can be doing RIGHT NOW, spelled out by a POC and it feels like you're saying it's not good enough, it's not big enough, and I think that's a cop out (no pun intended).

Yeah, I don't know what's politically feasible. It's one of the questions I asked. But movements need to ask big, I think, rather than settle before they even ask for anything. There's an article on what gun control can learn from gay marriage on this that I found interesting.

And as for what I can be doing right now, I feel like I'm pretty good on that twitter list. I know what the statutes are for use of force here, I know what the investigation procedures are, and in my country one person has been killed by the police this year. Here the police harass minorities, but killing is mainly reserved for the mentally ill. And yes, I've talked to local politicians about it (the harassment, not killing, which is just happens a lot less here). I know the current body camera situation in my city, and I know about the civilian oversight board for our police department.

I'm not saying this stuff doesn't matter, I'm saying I don't think it's likely to work, as evidenced by the fact that it doesn't work. Having local cops in charge of investigating each other does not work. It does not result in murderous cops going to prison.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 9:48 AM on July 7, 2016


One thing I am confused about in the video from Diamond Reynolds -- Philando Castile is in the right front seat, behind the steering wheel: was the video flipped or were they in a right-hand drive car for some reason?

The phone probably flips video so that when recording yourself it will be like you're seeing into a mirror.
posted by ymgve at 9:50 AM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


She says as Castile was reaching for his wallet, he informed officers that he had a firearm in his possession, and a conceal-and-carry permit.

Reynolds says in the video that an officer then shot her boyfriend four times.

The officer in the video at one point screams, “I told him not to reach for it! I told him to get his hand out …”

Reynolds tells the officer, “You told him to get his I.D., sir, his driver’s license.”
I'm assuming the cop had his gun drawn and got twitchy. Did he have his gun drawn at the outset? For a traffic stop?
posted by mazola at 9:53 AM on July 7, 2016


if you need a little heart lifting, i suggest taking a peek at #CarefreeBlackKids2k16
posted by nadawi at 9:56 AM on July 7, 2016 [11 favorites]


I want to thank the Black people who are participating in this thread. I can only imagine a little of the constant pain and anger you must be going through. On a different axis of oppression, I often have to step away when transgender and gay issues come up because it's just too much for my heart to bear. I never did read the Orlando thread. So thank you for sharing your perspectives.
posted by AFABulous at 9:56 AM on July 7, 2016 [44 favorites]


Is there a way to see what white men get killed by cops for doing? I'd be interested in the comparison. How many white men get shot selling something on the street? How many white boys are shot in a playground for having a toy gun?

How many white men are shot by cops because the white man was walking around Wal-Mart holding a pellet gun and talking on their cell phone?
posted by sio42 at 9:57 AM on July 7, 2016 [5 favorites]


I'm assuming the cop had his gun drawn and got twitchy. Did he have his gun drawn at the outset? For a traffic stop?

Twitter reports that the police car had a dashcam, so hopefully we'll find out. The video from Reynolds only begins after the shooting.
posted by AFABulous at 9:57 AM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


Holding a pellet gun they were going to BUY even
posted by sio42 at 10:00 AM on July 7, 2016


I hope that dashcam video doesn't get lost.

But it was also prob too far away. A body cam would have been the best. But that would have "malfunctioned" I'm sure.
posted by sio42 at 10:01 AM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


Her video would have "gone missing" if it hadn't been on fb live.
posted by sio42 at 10:02 AM on July 7, 2016 [18 favorites]


that's why they threw her phone.

now consider apple's patent to disable your phone's camera...
posted by nadawi at 10:03 AM on July 7, 2016 [11 favorites]


This scene aired in 1991. (top hit on reddit right now)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:04 AM on July 7, 2016 [6 favorites]


The phone probably flips video so that when recording yourself it will be like you're seeing into a mirror.

Mine does that as well, but the finished video is not flipped. Is this an artifact of it going to Facebook live?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:08 AM on July 7, 2016


I hope this isn't a derail, but something that's stood out to me in both of these videos is how absolutely terrified the police officers were of these unarmed black men.
The officer who murdered Alton Sterling has a moment of total panic: his voice shoots up and octave and he starts screaming, "Gun, gun, he's got a gun!" and then he shoots. The amount of fear was absolutely unreal, almost a caricature; I felt like I was watching a JK Rowling adaptation of Dudley Dursley squealing like a pig. The officer who murdered Philandro Castile was having a weeping breakdown and kept trying to say that Philandro was reaching for a gun to shoot him with. The cop who got a separate mefi account to show up to the Oakland PD rape FPP had nothing to say about the OPD's child trafficking, but ranted on for paragraphs and paragraphs about how terrified he is that he's going to get shot at Safeway. Every officer I've ever spoken to or heard interviewed talks about the danger of a suspect taking your gun and shooting you with it. This is something that happened to exactly three officers in 2011 according to the FBI, but police seem to think this is a serious, present danger, not a freak occurrence, and it's clear they are being trained to think this way-- both to fear and hate black people and that their lives as officers are in danger every minute of every day from a dangerous public that you need to shoot before they shoot you. Before they implemented a de-escalation training (very recent, results unclear) this was the LAPD's training for officers wrt deadly force:

At the Los Angeles Police Department's training academy, fresh-faced recruits step in front of a giant TV screen. It's a force option simulator, a sort of video game that presents them with scenarios where they have to decide what to do.

In one scenario, an officer stops a vehicle that has no license plate and approaches from the right side. A woman in the driver's seat greets the officer.

It seems like a pretty standard car stop. The friendly woman smiles broadly as she leans over to look for her car registration inside the glove compartment.

"It's in here somewhere," she says — before pulling out a gun and firing.


There it is; that's the exact script running in the head of the officer who murdered Philandro Castile. God knows how many times he roleplayed it in a training LARP or video game. Where is this training paradigm coming from? It's clearly part of modern policing culture and it's clearly responsible for deaths. And it's clearly a very well defined policy, not just larger social prejudices like racism at work-- police are being taught to be wildly paranoid and their own racism directs that paranoia and violence at black and brown people. A few years ago I was appalled to read that Ender's Game was being used as a template for actual military training because a bunch of training wonks (and not soldiers) were really into it and thought it would work. Horrifying. Do we have data like this on what entities or think tanks or whatever are training police to be fearful, racist, hair-trigger murderers?
posted by moonlight on vermont at 10:08 AM on July 7, 2016 [91 favorites]


If only there were a major political party with a core interest in protecting citizens from the power of the state. You think they might stand up to this bullshit, maybe?
posted by scaryblackdeath at 10:13 AM on July 7, 2016 [7 favorites]


My wife reminded me of this constrasting local news story from yesterday (Raleigh, NC). Short version:

* Motorist reports a 62 year old white man is seen standing near the road pointing a shotgun at passing cars.
* Police arrive and approach him, and eventually wrestle the shotgun from him.
* The man then pulls a concealed handgun and fires a shot but does not strike anyone.
* The police are able to disarm him and take him into custody.

Number one, that's how it's done and is what I'd consider the kind of bravery I expect police to exhibit. They took some substantial risks in order to avoid a worse outcome.

Number two, let's try to imagine how this might have gone down if the man was young and black. We really need some serious police reform and a concerted attempt to bring communities and police forces closer together.
posted by freecellwizard at 10:16 AM on July 7, 2016 [61 favorites]


> Sterling is the 560th person killed by police this year in the United States.

Can you imagine the shit that would be going down if terrorists had killed 560 people in the United States this year?
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:20 AM on July 7, 2016 [27 favorites]


I have an idea, let's switch firefighters, who don't seem to be scared of much of anything, with police officers.
posted by AFABulous at 10:21 AM on July 7, 2016 [14 favorites]


The Card Cheat, the police ARE terrorists by any definition. Terrorism, noun: 1. The use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce. 2. The state of fear and submission produced by terrorism or terrorization.
posted by AFABulous at 10:22 AM on July 7, 2016 [13 favorites]


Is there a way to see what white men get killed by cops for doing?

The Counted - The Guardian has an interactive feature covering every police killing in the US since 2015.
posted by maggiemaggie at 10:29 AM on July 7, 2016 [7 favorites]


The Counted - The Guardian has an interactive feature covering every police killing in the US since 2015.

The fact that the last digit of that count is poised to flip to "2" is literally making me tear up at my desk.
posted by Etrigan at 10:31 AM on July 7, 2016 [5 favorites]


You know, my understanding of self-defense killings is that they all basically get investigated as a homicide until the facts become clear.

I kind of think that the use of lethal force by police should be investigated the same way but by the FBI or something. Police can and, if necessary, should use deadly force, but they'll want to make sure that they are absolutely certain that they're following every procedure because the FBI is going to come investigate it like it isn't.

Then I bet the police would get really good at keeping themselves from even getting into situations where deadly force is an option.
posted by VTX at 10:32 AM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


In 1996, Xzibit had a song called "The Foundation" which was advice to his newborn son. In the first verse he says:

"It's the 90's the police just arrest you,
disrespect you, on occasion take life
By the time you come of age they'll probably blast on sight"


I'm so pissed off and sad that he was right.
posted by lkc at 10:33 AM on July 7, 2016 [23 favorites]


Thank you all who've posted links on small steps and ways to take action.

Also just a reminder about apps out there to help record police interactions (Slate (I know) has a decent round-up, with advice on safety and how-to), including the ACLU Mobile Justice app which preserves videos even if the phone is taken or destroyed. (Caveat: there are critiques of these apps, but I'll leave it to you to decide if the criticism is real or horseshit.)
posted by barchan at 10:33 AM on July 7, 2016 [4 favorites]


The Card Cheat, the police ARE terrorists by any definition.

I don't care if one wants to use the term 'terrorist' as a pejorative against the cops in the US, but as someone who studies terrorism for a living, the key definition that most scholars use relates to an audience that is different than the target with the aim of making some political change. I don't think that cops in the US are killing thousands of people because they want to frighten others into accepting their demands. The root causes are much more likely to be a result of racism, poor training, and a lack of accountability.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 10:35 AM on July 7, 2016 [13 favorites]


This happened about a block from me yesterday afternoon while I was at work. A potential suicide-by-cop situation was resolved by SFPD after about 4 hours without any loss of life and as far as I can tell the guy was treated for minor injuries only due to the beanbags that were used. I'm honestly wondering did this guy just get lucky this time or is the training implemented as a result of protests actually having an effect. Does this mean that progress is possible?
posted by TwoWordReview at 10:36 AM on July 7, 2016


Where is this training paradigm coming from? It's clearly part of modern policing culture and it's clearly responsible for deaths.

I went through some of this twice, over 20 years ago: once in a very low-level basic law enforcement course in California, and then a year later as part of boarding team training for the Coast Guard.

In that LE course, we were shown real dashcams of police ambushed and killed during traffic stops. The overt message, reinforced by "this guy got killed, this guy didn't" videos, was that an aggressive posture would save your life while a friendlier posture made you vulnerable. What wasn't pointed out, and what I only caught on by being critical about it, was that the ambushers were typically minorities.

A year later in the Coast Guard, I did a sort of "judgment shoot" test where I was given an empty pistol and put in front of a video of various scenarios. My ship's gunner's mate (a third class, and only in his early 20s) evaluated my decisions. Many scenarios involved someone being a little grouchy and reaching out of sight. I pulled my gun during a video of a dockside ambush and shot several times. Other guys watching joked, but the gunner's mate approved and signed off on it. Later, the video sent me up alongside a sailboat, where a snarky older woman throws insults, then reaches out of sight. I pulled my gun. She pulled a life ring. Everyone laughed, except the gunner's mate, who shrugged and said, "Hey, you didn't fire," and that's all that mattered.

That was a very basic intro. I'd have done more of that had I not received transfer orders before completing that boarding team training, and presumably I'd have gotten more comfortable with those interactions. But it got me thinking: all of this is designed to keep you alive, because the job really is dangerous and you really could be attacked...but this comes at the cost of teaching you to view everyone with suspicion, and they reinforce over and over again how vulnerable you are.

I keep thinking back to how much I wanted to grow up to be a cop when I was a kid. The Coast Guard made me think better of that (bad knees, hatred of toxic masculinity, other reasons), but I keep wondering what might've become of me if I'd pursued that career. I don't know if I'd have become more callous and prone to violence...or if my principles would've gotten me into trouble with my fellow cops. Because we have plenty of evidence of what happens to cops who speak out against all this bullshit, too.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 10:39 AM on July 7, 2016 [19 favorites]


I'm honestly wondering did this guy just get lucky this time or is the training implemented as a result of protests actually having an effect. Does this mean that progress is possible?

Or was he white?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:39 AM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


I am having a lot of feelings, but here's a big one: I just can't stop thinking about this one case that I had a few weeks back (I'm a defense attorney). It was a young black male, charged with carrying a concealed deadly weapon and menacing.

He was in a park after dark, and his car was parked on the lawn. Police saw his vehicle, and he started to drive away. They pulled him over, and several officers approached the window (they must have called for back-up before getting to the window, because all of a sudden there were a LOT of officers), and asked him to get out of the car. He tells me he told the officer he had a gun; the officer says he didn't. (Body cam audio was not yet turned on.) He goes to get out of the car, and puts his hands up. For less than 3 seconds - literally, I stopped the video - his right arm looks to be near his hip before it is in the air. He gets out of his car and stands next to the police car. The police find a firearm under where his feet were, directly beneath the driver's side seat. For the next 20 minutes, the police lecture him about how they were so glad he was still alive; he could have killed someone; that could have been bad. I mean, why did he reach for his firearm? Then they arrest him. I pointed out in court later that according to them they didn't know about the gun until after he was safely out of the car, and anyway that's not where the gun actually was, and the officer seemed almost offended that I doubted his own Fear For His Life.

At the end of the day, it doesn't matter much in this case because the kid only spent the night in jail on it (well, he had to forfeit the gun), and no one was hurt. But I just can't stop thinking about it, because all these officers were extremely relieved they didn't shoot, and were actively angry at him for somehow putting them in that position. Of Almost But Not Quite Murderers. Like, they were actively trying to punish him for making them scared (for their lives/their careers?)

And that's probably what would have happened to Mr. Castile if the officer hadn't have shot. He would likely have been charged with menacing, arrested, taken to jail, and then forced to take a plea deal or try the damn thing -- in front of a white jury, probably, with his version of events contrasted to the officer's -- running the risk of jail time and who knows what other penalties. Essentially for being black, at night, and for trying to do what the officer told him to do.

I don't have any brilliant conclusion or anything; the whole thing just makes me feel overwhelmed.
posted by likeatoaster at 10:40 AM on July 7, 2016 [61 favorites]


this mean that progress is possible?

When accompanied by months of protests, an Academy Award nominated film, sweeping political changes and the unmitigated fact that every single person within 100 miles comes equipped with an instantly disseminating video camera, then indubitably maybe.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:41 AM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


(Sorry, Fruitvale Station won an award at Sundance, not the Oscars, my bad!)
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:42 AM on July 7, 2016


He wasn't white, but he did spend most of the 4 hours lying face down on the ground with his hands in his pockets.
posted by TwoWordReview at 10:48 AM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


...all of this is designed to keep you alive, because the job really is dangerous and you really could be attacked...

Police officer doesn't even rank in the Top 10 list of dangerous professions.
posted by odinsdream at 10:48 AM on July 7, 2016 [20 favorites]


I don't think that cops in the US are killing thousands of people because they want to frighten others into accepting their demands.

I sure do.
posted by maxsparber at 10:48 AM on July 7, 2016 [24 favorites]


this series of tweets describes what can be done, starting right now, to end this.

Came here to post this same thing, thank you cooker girl.

Hey fellow white people. If you feel ragged and ablaze with rage as I do, if you're all cried out, if you're feeling all helpless like I do, well first? Step back and shut up for a second. And after that: Follow those linked instructions above. I just reserved a spot on my city's Citizens Police Academy training course, which is a pre-requisite for joining my city's volunteer Citizens Review Board. It was so fucking easy. The next step is contacting local elected officials and making noise. Make sure they know that your support, and the support of everybody else who listens to you, is predicated on taking positive action towards ending police violence and the protection against prosecution that the police enjoy. Then buy a dash cam. Put an app on your phone that automatically sends recorded video to cloud storage. Go here, and here, and donate money or time.

These are literally the least, smallest things that can be done. There are a thousand more steps like these we can all take. Not because the Black community needs us to save them, but because (as AFABulous said above) this is the fruit of white supremacy, from which we have all benefited whether we wanted to or not. These actions, and more, are what we owe. It's going to take a lot of work and time to see progress, but if we do these things often enough and loudly enough, they'll start to help. They will do more than just assure your (my) ego that you're (I'm) on Team Good Guys. And you can start today, right now, this instant. At least that's what I'm doing so far.
posted by penduluum at 10:48 AM on July 7, 2016 [18 favorites]


[insert clever name here]: Disarm the police. It's the only answer I can think of at this point outside of outright disbanding them. And you know what? I think we'd mostly be okay if cops were disarmed. Of course they couldn't go in as oppressors anymore.

This is not only possible, but also in practice. Alaska's Unarmed Law Enforcement, some of who still didn't want to carry a sidearm even after one of their own was killed in the line of duty. If this sounds familiar, it's from NPR back in 2014, and I posted it a thread about Michael Brown.

But disarming police doesn't mean just taking away their guns - the village public safety officers (VPSOs) serve rural communities and get to know the people, honing skills in talking and listening instead of quick response with a firearm. Some VSPOs are native and related to the people in the communities they serve, others are not, but none carry guns (a far as I can tell, this is still true).

This is not to say that Alaska is a magical land of peaceful police. They created special investigative unit to handle police misconduct earlier this year, and some officers received attention for how they aggressively handled an autistic man who they thought was trying to rob a rental car, but they assaulted that young man with pepper spray, not guns.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:50 AM on July 7, 2016 [10 favorites]


I don't think that cops in the US are killing thousands of people because they want to frighten others into accepting their demands.

Frightening people into accepting their demands is like the number one thing cops do
posted by Greg Nog at 10:50 AM on July 7, 2016 [52 favorites]


Break the pig unions. Corrections too.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 10:53 AM on July 7, 2016 [4 favorites]


I'm not surprised that police body counts compare unfavorably to military ones, as previous posters have pointed out regarding the Irish Troubles and the Iraqi Occupation. From my time in the Navy I witnessed a very strong culture of accountability. Every morning when we mustered for duty aboard my ship the duty section would go over the requirements for deadly force wether you were going to be standing an armed watch that day or not. We all understood if you used your weapon for any reason, even drew and aimed at someone, you'd better be prepared to justify your actions. It seems when your job description truly includes "kill the enemy" you take deadly force more seriously than if your job description is "Serve and Protect"
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 11:02 AM on July 7, 2016 [16 favorites]


Why the Philando Castile police-shooting video disappeared from Facebook — then came back: The details of the glitch aren't clear. But how Facebook determines what their users should or should not see on the site has become increasingly important as more and more of its 1.6 billion users get their news through the social network. According to a recent Pew Research survey, two-thirds of American Facebook users say they use the site to get news.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:05 AM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


Police officer doesn't even rank in the Top 10 list of dangerous professions.

...and to the extent that it is dangerous to life and limb, that's mostly just because cops spend a lot of their time in cars. Mostly being a cop is dangerous the same way that driving a delivery van is.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:06 AM on July 7, 2016 [9 favorites]


Scrolling through that Guardian site is overwhelming.... especially reading the descriptions where the victim allegedly posed a threat to the police officer with the ghost of Laquan McDonald sitting on my shoulder .

I -never- get into arguments with random people on FB, but I did today (somebody's aunt who apparently comes from a long line of police but isn't on herself), and I found myself looking for the [!] button next to an egregious comment from her, hah. I need to remind myself to counter hate with love, and fear and aggression with peace and not snark.
posted by Fig at 11:10 AM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


More local reaction:

Donn O'Malley, the J.J. Hill Montessori School's Parent Teacher Organization chairman, said that he was a "cherished" member of the community.

"We entrusted our children to him during the school day and our children loved him," he told NBC News. "When I saw the news this morning and told my children about it, they were sad, confused and immediately started sharing with me how great Phil was."

The PTO was planning a march Thursday night in honor of Castile, added group member Tony Fragnito.

"Working in a school, your job is about enhancing the life of young learners," Fragnito said. "He took that to the next step. He had a lot of pride and passion in taking care of kids and making sure that they are productive and passionate adults."

posted by gimonca at 11:13 AM on July 7, 2016 [21 favorites]


Fig, it's like you and I are flipped in how we handle this - my uncle is pretty prone to posting "support our police" kinds of stuff after incidents like this, and I've been holding my tongue and trying to be calm up to this point - but i think this time I am going to either snap or just unfriend him entirely because ARE YOU KIDDING.

(My cousin actually took him to task once over this kind of thing, but daughters can do that to their own parents.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:13 AM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


A friend of Alton Sterling says the Baton Rouge man bought a gun for protection only hours before he was shot to death by two white cops outside a convenience store.

“He didn’t have a gun before that,” barber Ronnie Harton, 50, told the Daily News. “He said he had to protect himself, because he had all this money on him. Around this area, you get robbed real quick.”

posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:17 AM on July 7, 2016


“He said he had to protect himself, because he had all this money on him. Around this area, you get robbed real quick.”

Yet the most pressing matter the cops had that night was harassing a guy selling CDs.
posted by Talez at 11:25 AM on July 7, 2016 [14 favorites]


There are so many people who say "well, [person] shouldn't have resisted, he should have immediately complied with police demands and then he'd be alive." I'm not sure anyone knows how they'd react to being arrested, especially if they felt the arrest was unjust. Non-violent protesters have to be trained what to do in case of arrest because non-resistance is not a natural reaction.

When I've been stopped by the police (for speeding), I know why I'm being stopped, and I have time to gauge my emotional reaction accordingly. If a cop (or anyone) suddenly grabbed me, I may well react defensively. When I was much younger, a doctor did something painful I wasn't expecting and I hit him. I have never hit anyone in anger before or since. I weighed about 90 lbs at the time, and two adult males had to hold me down.
posted by AFABulous at 11:28 AM on July 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


Yet the most pressing matter the cops had that night was harassing a guy selling CDs.

There was an anonymous tip about a guy in red shirt waving a gun around, threatening people. Which makes me wonder if someone called that in to get him arrested or killed.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:31 AM on July 7, 2016 [4 favorites]


Statement from Saint Paul Public Schools about Philando Castile
One coworker said, “Kids loved him. He was smart, over-qualified. He was quiet, respectful, and kind. I knew him as warm and funny; he called me his 'wing man.' He wore a shirt and tie to his supervisor interview and said his goal was to one day 'sit on the other side of this table.’”
As if everything else isn't bad enough, there's a school full of kids that now has to deal with the fact that the guy in charge of serving them lunch every day was shot dead by the police and that's just part of life in their community, every community in this country.
posted by zachlipton at 11:32 AM on July 7, 2016 [21 favorites]


There was an anonymous tip about a guy in red shirt waving a gun around, threatening people. Which makes me wonder if someone called that in to get him arrested or killed.

My understanding is that it doesn't matter, because anonymous tips don't give the officers probable cause. They had to manufacture that once they arrived.
posted by rhizome at 11:37 AM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


 I’ve said this before: there is no justice where there are dead black people. I’ll continue saying it, because if we’re satisfied with charges and potential prison time, we’ve missed the entire point of #BlackLivesMatter. This isn’t about getting “better” police, ones who exercise discretion in using force, but getting away from “needing” police altogether.
Mychal Denzel Smith,  Abolish the Police. Instead, Let’s Have Full Social, Economic, and Political Equality
posted by standardasparagus at 11:39 AM on July 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


There was an anonymous tip about a guy in red shirt waving a gun around, threatening people.

Like I pointed out above, WHY would a cop immediately physically approach someone who they know has a gun? This really sounds fishy and I hope they release the 911 tapes.
posted by AFABulous at 11:40 AM on July 7, 2016 [6 favorites]


There was an anonymous tip about a guy in red shirt waving a gun around, threatening people. Which makes me wonder if someone called that in to get him arrested or killed.

Not that it matters in this case, but John Crawford III was sentenced to death by cop by Ronald Richie, a lying, racist scumbag who was aided in getting off scott-free by Ohio's Republican AG.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:42 AM on July 7, 2016 [9 favorites]


> My wife reminded me of this constrasting local news story from yesterday (Raleigh, NC). Short version:

From that link: “As a deputy, you don’t ever know what to expect when you’re approaching something like that, so your training kicks in,” Harrison [the sheriff] said. “And of course when the gun came up, it was automatic to him to get that gun away from him, and he did exactly what he was supposed to.”

it was automatic to him to get that gun away from him. Not shoot him. Get that gun away from him.
posted by rtha at 11:48 AM on July 7, 2016 [10 favorites]


every community in this country.

not every community because segregation is still very real. there are lots of communities that never know this pain, and that's just another reason why it keeps happening.
posted by nadawi at 11:49 AM on July 7, 2016 [16 favorites]


It's long past time to disarm the police, shatter the police unions, and break all the contracts they have that give them far, far, too much leeway.

Society needs police, but it doesn't need pigs. And what we've got in America today is nothing but wall to wall pigs.

I just don't see it happening anytime soon. Not with white America still so racist that even now so many white people defend the murders.

But the simple fact is that the police are the enemy. That's not right, that's not how it is supposed to be, but that's the way it is. I'll never drive past a traffic stop again, I've got a white body, I can get out there filming them at the very least.
posted by sotonohito at 11:50 AM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


Break the pig unions. Corrections too.

No, fuck that. I'm not degrading the strength of any union anywhere. Reform the unions instead. Bad unions are the reason people are against unions, the solution is not to get rid of unions but to improve the bad ones.
posted by VTX at 11:51 AM on July 7, 2016 [15 favorites]


Police unions aren't regular unions, they're basically criminal organizations. Break them all.
posted by Artw at 11:53 AM on July 7, 2016 [7 favorites]


Also cop pensions should be forfeit in these cases. No sneaking off with a bag of the publics cash in hand. Racists can do an indiegogo for them or whatever.
posted by Artw at 11:54 AM on July 7, 2016 [11 favorites]


Where is this training paradigm coming from?

Pulled directly out of my ass, but aren't all occupying forces terrified of insurgency?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:57 AM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


This is a great opportunity to call out the NRA and its supporters, conservative and otherwise. Because if the AREN'T racist, they should be SCREAMING about two lawful gun owners executed for exercising their right to carry in perfectly legitimate fashion.
When asked directly about law-abiding Black gun owner being killed by cops, @NRA has "no comment"
Not that we should be surprised, as most of the gun lobbying organizations are de facto white supremacist ones as well at this point.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:57 AM on July 7, 2016 [41 favorites]


I'm not sure anyone knows how they'd react to being arrested

The Frontline episode linked above has an incident like this right on camera. Guy is walking down the sidewalk talking on the phone, police seem to be interacting with someone else and then suddenly one of the police tries to grab to phone-talker and he reacts as anyone would when a strange person tries to grab you by surprise by pulling away. Well that was apparently enough to get him thrown to the ground for resisting.

Afterwards the documentarian is interviewing the cop and his answers are basically "We're cops so you have to overcome your instincts because we aren't there to hurt you" (paraphrasing). I had 2 reactions to that:

1) That's definitely not a true statement for POCs. And hasn't been since like the beginning of America.

2) As a woman, I am absolutely going to be on the defensive if someone I'm not paying attention to tries to grab me. As a white woman, I don't have to fear that my instinctual reaction will result in beatings or death but women of color absolutely do.

It's like cops can't understand why people would be scared of them or why people can't overcome their defensive instincts just because they're cops.
posted by LizBoBiz at 11:59 AM on July 7, 2016 [16 favorites]


My state (Ohio) has no law on the use of lethal force. It's terrifying to see the state name and flag up in the corner of the page and a big, fat NO LAW right in the center. Fucking terrifying.

I just read Washington's law. The rules of deadly force [pdf, enclosure 2 page 10] I was required to learn to qualify as an armed watch in the military were significantly more restrictive than that. We were required to have an 'interactive brief' on those rules (i.e., a test) every morning before taking the watch. We may or may not have been guarding (among other things) nuclear weapons. (I can neither confirm nor deny, etc.)
posted by ctmf at 12:06 PM on July 7, 2016 [12 favorites]


My mom called me last week with news that a loved one had been found unconscious and had been put on a respirator. The kid survived because he was lucky.

But prior to knowing that he would survive, my mom's voice had the same calm as Lavish had. It was a horrible calm of shock. She was being driven to the hospital where (I had assumed) we would find out that our loved one was dead or comatose.

And when Lavish's calm broke and she began to beg and scream, I heard the sounds of my family's grief that would-have-been.

This country. I'm so sorry.
posted by angrycat at 12:13 PM on July 7, 2016 [7 favorites]


I just read Washington's law. The rules of deadly force [pdf, enclosure 2 page 10] I was required to learn to qualify as an armed watch in the military were significantly more restrictive than that. We were required to have an 'interactive brief' on those rules (i.e., a test) every morning before taking the watch. We may or may not have been guarding (among other things) nuclear weapons. (I can neither confirm nor deny, etc.)

Don't worry. People think the military's rules are too restrictive and they spend too much time investigating shootings, and they argue that should get to be more like US police.

The military envy the police because of how easy it is for them to kill people. That's how fucked up the situation is.
posted by zachlipton at 12:18 PM on July 7, 2016 [12 favorites]


I think there's some concrete steps we can propose that will address the problem:

1) Pass a law mandating that any time a cop kills someone, for any reason at all, they are instantly fired and get no pension. I don't care if it is the most justified killing in the universe, we don't need killers in uniform. Kill someone and your days as a cop are over, no exceptions, no loopholes, no rules to lawyer, just an instant and completely unthinking firing.

As we've seen any loopholes will be exploited, any rules will be lawyered until they mean nothing. So make it too simple to cheat. Someone dies, cop is fired. If it is unclear which individual cop did the killing then all involved cops are fired.

That may be the only thing that will ever actually cause the cops to exhibit even the slightest degree of restraint.

2) Disarm the police. All of them. Maybe you can make a case for permitting a single shotgun, loaded only with beanbag rounds, to be locked in the trunk of cop cars. But even that seems to be stretching things a bit. Take away their guns and it'll be a lot harder for the pigs to kill people.

3) Shatter the police unions. I'm normally almost religiously pro-union, but there's no need for police unions and all they do is protect the worst cops there are. Get rid of them.

4) While we're at it, get rid of all the special cop privileges. No more of the letting them have days to collude with other cops, see the evidence, and concoct a story. They get interviewed the same way civilians are, and as quickly, and by some non-police agency. If I can't have a day or seven to carefully watch the evidence with my lawyer and use that to fabricate a "statement" than they can't either.

None of that, of course, will ever happen until white America stops being so racist.

Which brings me back to my screaming fits of rage and terror, because I just don't see the problem being fixed and in the meantime people are being killed.
posted by sotonohito at 12:24 PM on July 7, 2016 [12 favorites]


Jelani Cobb: A Police Killing In Baton Rouge
An adage of the street holds that it’s better to be judged by twelve than carried by six. But the gospel of self-protection is a false one. The gun found near Alton Sterling’s body did not make him any safer. The illegality of a concealed weapon becomes nearly an afterthought given that the day after Sterling’s death Philando Castile, who reportedly held a concealed-carry permit, was shot by police during a traffic stop in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota. In the wake of the slaughter in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012, Wayne LaPierre, of the National Rifle Association, infamously remarked that “the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” Men like Sterling and Castile were far more likely than most to encounter the former, and consequently died at the hands of those deemed to be the latter.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:25 PM on July 7, 2016 [5 favorites]


President Obama: All Americans should be deeply troubled by the fatal shootings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota. We've seen such tragedies far too many times, and our hearts go out to the families and communities who've suffered such a painful loss.

Although I am constrained in commenting on the particular facts of these cases, I am encouraged that the U.S. Department of Justice has opened a civil rights investigation in Baton Rouge, and I have full confidence in their professionalism and their ability to conduct a thoughtful, thorough, and fair inquiry.

But regardless of the outcome of such investigations, what's clear is that these fatal shootings are not isolated incidents. They are symptomatic of the broader challenges within our criminal justice system, the racial disparities that appear across the system year after year, and the resulting lack of trust that exists between law enforcement and too many of the communities they serve.

To admit we've got a serious problem in no way contradicts our respect and appreciation for the vast majority of police officers who put their lives on the line to protect us every single day. It is to say that, as a nation, we can and must do better to institute the best practices that reduce the appearance or reality of racial bias in law enforcement.

That's why, two years ago, I set up a Task Force on 21st Century Policing that convened police officers, community leaders, and activists. Together, they came up with detailed recommendations on how to improve community policing. So even as officials continue to look into this week's tragic shootings, we also need communities to address the underlying fissures that lead to these incidents, and to implement those ideas that can make a difference. That's how we'll keep our communities safe. And that's how we can start restoring confidence that all people in this great nation are equal before the law.

In the meantime, all Americans should recognize the anger, frustration, and grief that so many Americans are feeling -- feelings that are being expressed in peaceful protests and vigils. Michelle and I share those feelings. Rather than fall into a predictable pattern of division and political posturing, let's reflect on what we can do better. Let's come together as a nation, and keep faith with one another, in order to ensure a future where all of our children know that their lives matter.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:29 PM on July 7, 2016 [15 favorites]


for anyone that's in the east bay and interested, there's a rally ("For #AltonSterling and #PhilandoCastile, and for all the women trafficked and exploited by the rapists and murderers in Oakland Police Department and across the Bay Area.") in oakland tonight at 7 pm at oscar grant plaza.
posted by burgerrr at 12:29 PM on July 7, 2016 [5 favorites]


i posted the Castile video on facebook last night after seeing tweets that it had been removed. this response from a longtime acquaintance is just making me sick.
She is talking very calmly explaining everything while sitting next to him filming. And it was very sad to see her not comfort her own daughter ! Obviously, with the back ground obsenities from the officers, they aren't happy with the situation either ! Going to be interesting to hear the outcome of this !

Well, God forbid the officers aren't happy with the situation. And shame on this woman for not comforting her daughter in the back while a hysterical man with a gun sticking through the window screams at her. The outcome of this is THERE'S A GUY WHO DID NOTHING WRONG BLEEDING TO DEATH IN THE FUCKING CAR.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 12:33 PM on July 7, 2016 [36 favorites]


I am so, so tired of reading about American citizens being murdered by police.

I've done what I can. I wish there was more.
posted by a power-tie-wearing she-capitalist at 12:36 PM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


KING: Black police union in St. Louis releases scathing evaluation of their own department, call for the resignation of Police Chief Sam Dotson : On Thursday, in a Daily News exclusive, The Ethical Society of Police has released a scathing, comprehensive 112 page evaluation of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. At a scheduled forum Thursday evening, black police officers from the Ethical Society of Police told The News that they plan to publicly call for the immediate resignation of Police Chief Sam Dotson based on the damning findings of their report, which is embedded below.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:39 PM on July 7, 2016 [10 favorites]


How was she supposed to comfort her daughter when there's a man pointing a gun at her, telling her to keep her hands where he can see them, and yeah he just shot up the innocent man sitting next to her?

I'm so, so thankful she recorded as much as she could.
posted by yesster at 12:43 PM on July 7, 2016 [20 favorites]


To admit we've got a serious problem in no way contradicts our respect and appreciation for the vast majority of police officers who put their lives on the line to protect us every single day.
What do you mean "our"?

I've got no respect for the pigs. They lost it long, long, ago.

It is possible for the to earn my respect, this requires them to stop being pigs and become police officers. This requires action from the supposed "good cops" everyone keeps telling me must exist, it specifically requires them to start arresting the bad cops instead of enabling them.

And what does he mean "put their lives on the line"? Pizza delivery drivers have a greater chance of dying on the job than cops do. They're not brave, as the videos demonstrated they're pants wetting cowards.

I'm willing, even after all this, to grant the police the opportunity to earn respect. But right now they have none from me.
posted by sotonohito at 12:44 PM on July 7, 2016 [10 favorites]


So I looked up the citizen oversight process for my city's police, and what I found was an audit that was pretty scathing. It appears to be completely broken. It literally has no budget, voting is rigged with members from the Police Federation, citizens are required to take a 4 month training (good luck fitting that into your schedule, minorities!) to qualify to be on it, matters put towards it go through a rigged "preliminary review"...ugh. it's just.. yeah.
posted by odinsdream at 12:49 PM on July 7, 2016 [6 favorites]




Police officer doesn't even rank in the Top 10 list of dangerous professions.

Dangerous to whom?
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 12:55 PM on July 7, 2016 [8 favorites]


Looks like the attempts to smear Castile are already underway, basically for DWB. Because of course, police never repeatedly hassle poor people and PoC for minor infractions that cost them the same money required to address them.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:56 PM on July 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


Police officer doesn't even rank in the Top 10 list of dangerous professions.

>...and to the extent that it is dangerous to life and limb, that's mostly just because cops spend a lot of their time in cars. Mostly being a cop is dangerous the same way that driving a delivery van is.


Census Data of Fatal Occupational Injuries, Homicides

2014
Protective Services Workers (PSW - Firefighters, police, security, etc.): 78 total, 65 intentional shooting
Sales & Related (S&R - Cashiers, clerks, supervisors, etc.): 107 total, 85 intentional shooting
PSW Transportation Fatalities (TF): 77, exceeded by agriculture, construction, management, not even 10% of the fatalities in Transportation and material moving occupations; slightly higher than delivery van, way lower than driving a rig.

2013
PSW: 65 total, 56 intentional shooting
S&R: 99 total, 81 intentional shooting

2012
PSW: 90 total, 72 intentional shooting
S&R: 113 total, 99 intentional shooting

2011
PSW: 112 total, 94 intentional shooting
S&R: 105 total, 88 intentional shooting

2010
PSW: 97 total, 79 intentional shooting
S&R: 134 total, 111 intentional shooting

2009
PSW: 89 total, 75 intentional shooting
S&R: 144 total, 120 intentional shooting
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:59 PM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


She is talking very calmly explaining everything while sitting next to him filming. And it was very sad to see her not comfort her own daughter !

there's that empathy gap. us white people really are fuckin monsters.
posted by nadawi at 1:00 PM on July 7, 2016 [22 favorites]


Police unions aren't regular unions, they're basically criminal organizations. Break them all.

What you're saying here is, "Police aren't allowed to join unions."

That same line of reasoning should be leading you to conclude that we should just get rid of the police and just go without.

No, all employees should be able to form and join a union, period. You can tell me that their union needs to be dissolved and reformed from the ground up but busting unions is bad and just exacerbates wealth inequality which is at least an indirect contributing factor to racist police. I'm not saying that the police need to have a union or they'll shoot more POCs, just that if you want to support unions, you need to support all unions.

Burn it down and re-build, but don't forget to re-build. Besides, a well functioning police union would clear the way to get rid of bad cops and make sure good cops get promoted.
posted by VTX at 1:01 PM on July 7, 2016 [9 favorites]


Dangerous to whom?

Surely you're not trying to take my comment out of the context to which I was replying to suggest I was saying police aren't dangerous to the public. Surely you're not doing that.
posted by odinsdream at 1:02 PM on July 7, 2016


from zombieflanders' link:
Andreas ‏@aantonop 22m22 minutes ago
@Tom_Winter So harassed and endangered 31 times without any conviction for anything & killed the 32nd time. Driving while Black & executed

posted by yesster at 1:02 PM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


i don't support prisons as they run now. but if we're going to have prisons, then lock the murderous, lying, law breaking cops up.

i absolutely support unions, but as long as large swaths of the country aren't able to have unions, then bust the fuck out of the police unions. they can have them back (and they can be just as powerful and no more than all the rest of the unions) when we all get them.
posted by nadawi at 1:04 PM on July 7, 2016 [4 favorites]




For MPLS-St Paul mefites: there is a vigil starting at 5:30 at the school where Philandro Castile worked, located at 998 Selby Avenue in St Paul.

I may go, depending on what time I can get over there - I'm not sure how late it's going to run.
posted by Frowner at 1:13 PM on July 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


What you're saying here is, "Police aren't allowed to join unions."

Are you even vaguely aware of what a police union is and what it does?

Tell you what, if they want one that functions like a normal Labour Union they can have that. This current Mafia shit? Uh-uh, no fucking way, root it out and burn it.
posted by Artw at 1:18 PM on July 7, 2016 [14 favorites]


From Ijeoma Olouo, things that white people and non-black POC can do:
If you want to know what you can do - and no, you should not be asking a black person what you can do to fix the white supremacist murder of black people - but if you want to know some things you can do RIGHT FUCKING NOW here are some tweets I just posted:

1) Do you know your city's police accountability procedures?
2) Do your police have any provisions for citizen oversight?
3) Is there a civilian oversight panel to review police shootings and misconduct?
4) if you do not know this you can google your city with police accountability/review procedures
5) what is the threshold for indicting police for misconduct? Example: in Seattle (where I live) you have to prove willful malice.
6) Do your police have body cameras?

7) When you do your research, if you don't like the answers to these questions, if they do not hold police accountable, here's what u can do
8) Demand your city council member make police reform a priority. If they won't, vote them out - recruit friends to do the same.
9) Demand that your mayor do the same. If he/she won't vote them out & recruit friends to do the same.
10) Do not give money or votes to any candidate who will not make police reform a priority. Make sure they know that is a requirement
11) Demand that your sheriff and local DA's office do the same.
12) just google your city name + city council - all the contact info should be there.
13) along with phone numbers, email addresses - all the info u need to remind them that black lives WILL matter whether they want it or not
14) Do this today, do this tomorrow, do this every day like your life depends on it - ours actually does.

Police reform should be on the lips of every local politician in this country bc they should know they will not get your support without it

Ok? I shouldn't have to do this. I shouldn't have to process this and lay it all out while I'm fucking crying but I did so take some action.
posted by AceRock at 1:22 PM on July 7, 2016 [33 favorites]




Seattle Vigil: Not This Time Vigil for Alton Sterling victim of Homicide by Police. (This event was made before the second shooting happened, later that day) 6PM PDT, Westlake Park, Downtown Seattle.

Portland, OR March: This Can't be Justice!. 7pm PDT, Pioneer Courthouse Square.
posted by spinifex23 at 1:25 PM on July 7, 2016


Dangerous to whom?

Surely you're not trying to take my comment out of the context to which I was replying to suggest I was saying police aren't dangerous to the public. Surely you're not doing that.


I kinda feel like this line of discussion started when I said that yes, police work is dangerous and yes, you really can be attacked. That statement is demonstrably true. Citing examples of that isn't helpful here, though, so I haven't tried to defend that statement.

I never claimed it was the most dangerous profession, or even close to it, and the substance of my original comment was to point at how police training spins cops up to see more danger than is actually present, and how that is often racially coded. It's frustrating to see a fixation on that one statement rather than a consideration for how the training encourages this sort of mindset.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 1:26 PM on July 7, 2016 [5 favorites]


Add to the list of Things One Can Do is to support advocacy for electronic freedom. Videos are, I think, a major key to turning the tide. These cases are now front page news, and not just police plotter page 19 stories. Chicago giving McCarthy the boot would never have happened without the Laquan video. And citizen cell phone videos are a lot harder to obstruct, destroy, or wave away. We need to insure that the right to film is not chipped away. Reynolds is a fucking hero for continuing to film.
posted by jetsetsc at 1:27 PM on July 7, 2016 [9 favorites]


Tell you what, if they want one that functions like a normal Labour Union they can have that. This current Mafia shit? Uh-uh, no fucking way, root it out and burn it.

Yes, that is precisely what I've been saying.
posted by VTX at 1:31 PM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


Being Black is Exhausting, and Here's Why.

For many black Americans, watching black people die on camera feels like a job.

It’s not something they’re paid for, unless they are a journalist. But it can still feel like an obligation, because every time a new video is released of a black person being shot by police, black people know that America’s response to that video will affect their lives.

This is why when a judge forced Chicago officials to release video of the 2014 shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by Officer Jason Van Dyke, a group of young activists used the hashtag #BeforeYouWatch to encourage people to take a collective breath to brace themselves.

Support your friends, some wrote along with the hashtag. Remember that we all process pain differently, and this will be painful.

posted by Rumple at 1:31 PM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]




Yeah, I feel like it's a little weird that people insist that everyone watch the videos. People have myriad reasons for not wanting to that can be entirely valid.
posted by zutalors! at 1:38 PM on July 7, 2016 [6 favorites]


Surely you're not trying to take my comment out of the context to which I was replying to suggest I was saying police aren't dangerous to the public.

It was a play on words. And don't call me Shirley.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 1:39 PM on July 7, 2016


I feel like it's a little weird that people insist that everyone watch the videos

FWIW, the local CBS station has a transcript (scroll down.)
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 1:42 PM on July 7, 2016


I was just listening to NPR and heard Robert Siegel (the same guy who called Michael Brown a 'thug' on air, yes, he still works there) interview a "professor of criminal justice" on the Castile shooting. It could be summarized as, "submit to the officer and follow his instructions and nobody gets hurt". Some liberal media.
posted by indubitable at 1:46 PM on July 7, 2016 [10 favorites]


Chicago Rally: Protest Police Murder of Alton Sterling! 5pm CDT, at State and Jackson in the Loop.
posted by spinifex23 at 1:47 PM on July 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


...but, unless more verifiable facts have come out that contradict this, that's exactly what he did. he followed directions and he was murdered by the police.
posted by nadawi at 1:48 PM on July 7, 2016 [30 favorites]


Earlier today I heard someone on NPR refer to Philando Castile's murder as an "encounter" with the police. It's sickeningly easy to twist language around in order to downplay and disregard. Murder. It was murder. Call it murder.
posted by jesourie at 1:49 PM on July 7, 2016 [25 favorites]


Freeze and put your hands up.
posted by Artw at 1:50 PM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


I feel like it's a little weird that people insist that everyone watch the videos

I've been easing into them. First, it was moving the slider along, hitting playing, then jumping to another spot. Sorta of like getting random screen grabs. Today I've managed to watch a few seconds of each video at time. Tomorrow I think I'll be able to watch one video all the way through.

After that stage, I'll be able to turn on the sound. Maybe.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:51 PM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


#PhilandoCastile Funds For Family and another from Phil's sister.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:51 PM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


This just in from Twitter - you have to say you have a permit THEN say you're armed, otherwise of course the cop is going to shoot you. Clearly Castile was at fault.
posted by Artw at 1:52 PM on July 7, 2016 [4 favorites]


...but, unless more verifiable facts have come out that contradict this, that's exactly what he did. he followed directions and he was murdered by the police.

He absolutely did. But also, people think they know how they're going to act in these situations and they don't. One thing that really pisses me off about these discussions is that there's this idea that black people, especially children, are just supposed to know how to interact with police, like it's their job or something, but for many it's the first time they've really had an interaction and they have a natural or instinctive reaction.
posted by zutalors! at 1:52 PM on July 7, 2016 [7 favorites]


and yes! you file a false report to cover up murder committed by you or a fellow officer, you're charged under the felony murder rule. lets try that on for a few years, see what happens

I look periodically to see if I can find any news of it, but there is still no indication that Clarence Habersham Jr has been charged for his egregiously false statements. The most generous explanation I can come up with for this is that they are waiting to see if they manage to convict Slager for shooting Walter Scott but that's a level of restraint that doesn't get shown for private citizens.

As far as I am concerned, the failure to file against him sends its own message even if it's based on an increased chance of conviction. If NC supports an accessory after the fact charge then that's what should have been filed the very same day as Slager's charge.
posted by phearlez at 1:53 PM on July 7, 2016 [4 favorites]


...but, unless more verifiable facts have come out that contradict this, that's exactly what he did. he followed directions and he was murdered by the police.

Yes.
posted by indubitable at 1:53 PM on July 7, 2016


Freeze and put your hands up.

Exactly. Two contradicting commands, which did you mean sir?
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 1:55 PM on July 7, 2016


The Two Men Who Shaped the Story Of Alton Sterling's Death.

Bottom line is that we have these videos because the people who took them didn't turn them over to the police. Because they don't trust the police.

He absolutely did. But also, people think they know how they're going to act in these situations and they don't.

The police seem most guilty of that these days.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:58 PM on July 7, 2016 [17 favorites]


Two contradicting commands, which did you mean sir?

STOP RESISTING!
posted by zombieflanders at 1:59 PM on July 7, 2016 [7 favorites]


msnbc is reporting that they obtained 600 pages of complaints and investigations relating to the two cops involved in the Baton Rouge murder. Insane!
posted by futz at 2:00 PM on July 7, 2016 [16 favorites]



He absolutely did. But also, people think they know how they're going to act in these situations and they don't.

The police seem most guilty of that these days.


Umm, to be clear I meant people who want to criticize the actions of the victims - they think they know how they would act or how someone should act to "comply with police". Which I mentioned in the rest of my comment.
posted by zutalors! at 2:04 PM on July 7, 2016


Charles Pierce: Why 'All Lives Matter' is a dodge:
In most cases, it has been used by white people who are perfectly willing to admit that all their lives matter while, simultaneously, breaking a lot of rock to support and excuse (largely white) police officers who have been shown to be quick on the trigger to shoot black people who are selling CDs on the street, or breaking neck of black people who sell loosies on the sidewalk.

By using this dodge, they avail themselves of the privilege of their own cultural paranoia and of the protection against imaginary predators that their cultural paranoia concocts for them. This cultural paranoia, of course, is what keeps Wayne LaPierre in the luxury to which he has become accustomed, and it is also the reason that Philando Castile was killed for doing precisely what LaPierre has advised all his audiences to do since the day Adam Lanza shot up an elementary school classroom in Newtown, Connecticut.

Amanda Marcotte: NRA’s offensive hypocrisy: When will the organization demand justice for black gun owners shot by police?:
Guns are legal in this country. Louisiana is an open carry state. Minnesota allows concealed carry. Police officers in these states know full well that people have a legal right to carry. They have, according to conservatives themselves, no reason to believe that a man with a gun is a bad guy. Why, he could very well be one of those good guys with a gun, at the ready to stop crime, that we keep hearing about from conservatives.

Which brings up a critical question: Where is the gun rights lobby?

Here are two American citizens that were killed while doing what the NRA claims is a constitutional right. Surely this must be a gross injustice in the eyes of the NRA! Surely they will be demanding action, petitioning congressmen, demanding the Department of Justice to step forward and make sure that every American has a right to arm themselves without fear of being gunned down by the police! Right?
posted by palindromic at 2:05 PM on July 7, 2016 [32 favorites]


The Counted - The Guardian has an interactive feature covering every police killing in the US since 2015.

The fact that the last digit of that count is poised to flip to "2" is literally making me tear up at my desk.

posted by Etrigan at 12:31 PM on July 7 [4 favorites +] [!]
The count is now 566, barely 3.5 hours later.
posted by Westringia F. at 2:07 PM on July 7, 2016


msnbc is reporting that they obtained 600 pages of complaints and investigations relating to the two cops involved in the Baton Rouge murder. Insane!

well, msnbc is misreporting then.

Read the last sentence.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 2:11 PM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


There was an anonymous tip about a guy in red shirt waving a gun around, threatening people. Which makes me wonder if someone called that in to get him arrested or killed.

My understanding is that it doesn't matter, because anonymous tips don't give the officers probable cause. They had to manufacture that once they arrived.


You do not need probable cause for a Terry stop, you merely need reasonable suspicion. Once you have a Terry stop you have a Terry search, which is in theory just a cursory check in the service of officer safety - are you carrying a weapon on you? I know a lot of you are - but in reality means they're going to paw through your pockets and things pretty much without limit (theoretically anything within your easy reach so keep that backpack zipped) and maybe find something unthreatening but that they can charge you with. So that half-burned roach can turn into a possession charge.

The reasonable suspicion standard is so trivial as to be effectively nothing. If a cop rolls up on you and wants to go through your pockets, they are going to do so. It's remotely possible that you will have some traction after-the-fact if the cop is unbelievably incompetent at stringing together some lame-ass reason, but probably not. If you had any sort of open warrant on you it won't matter for purposes of exclusing evidence.

But yes, this is what happens when you call the cops. [violent imagery herein]
posted by phearlez at 2:20 PM on July 7, 2016


A black man adopted by white parents tells his story of an encounter with Denver police in 2009. [YT video]

All he did was comply quietly with officers, then ask to see a warrant, then he hit the officer's fists with his face and was falsely accused of going for an officer's gun. He got a gun put to his head and 42 stitches for his face. Because he otherwise complied and had the nerve to ask to see a warrant. According to a commenter: "Denver Police cleared all the officers of wrongdoing and they remain on the force today. The Denver City Council quietly approved an out of court settlement with the family for 795,000.00."

Judge orders two Ohio brothers arrested in park with BB guns to write essays about Tamir Rice.

The boys also had to pay court costs ($160 and $150) and perform community service. Seems like harsher punishment than the officer who killed Rice was given by the justice system.

Forgot my periods in my earlier post:

.

.
posted by lord_wolf at 2:21 PM on July 7, 2016 [17 favorites]


Artw: This just in from Twitter - you have to say you have a permit THEN say you're armed, otherwise of course the cop is going to shoot you.

Advice I've read so far which always works 100% of the time according to the people offering it: Always get your license and registration out before the officer reaches your car. Never reach for anything in your car while the officer is walking toward it, including your license and registration. Never mention your gun. Always mention your gun.

These don't count as advice. These are magic charms, talismans to ward off unpredictable death.
posted by clawsoon at 2:26 PM on July 7, 2016 [35 favorites]


Live in NYC
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:31 PM on July 7, 2016


i was wondering about the helicopters circling the roof at the exact moment you posted that, r317. weird!
posted by lalex at 2:34 PM on July 7, 2016








Looks like Obama is going to give a statement about the Alton Sterling and Philando Castile shootings in about half an hour when he arrives in Poland.
posted by yasaman at 2:57 PM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


Interesting proposal in this Twitter thread from Toronto activist Andray Domise: Require liability insurance for cops.
posted by emeiji at 2:59 PM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


OK then. I am now seeing news about a black man found hanging in Piedmont Park that coincided closely in time with the KKK being present. Initially officials said it was a suicide, but outraged citizens called it a modern day lynching, so now it looks like the FBI is investigating. So I don't know what the FUCK is going on right now. Something terrible.
posted by prefpara at 3:23 PM on July 7, 2016 [6 favorites]


President Obama's speech livestream (starting shortly)
posted by Celsius1414 at 3:38 PM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


Here's a link to the livestream of Obama's remarks. He hasn't started yet.
posted by yasaman at 3:38 PM on July 7, 2016


I am also able to access the livestream here.
posted by prefpara at 3:40 PM on July 7, 2016


I just got back from my local sheriff's office where I had to get fingerprints done for volunteer work I do. Sitting in one of those pamphlet stands at the counter was about 20 copies of this anti-blm propaganda piece from the WSJ, printed off from the internet full of black-on-black crime derails and misused statistics. This is supposed to be a public office that's for all people. The police are supposed to protect all people. I can't imagine what it's like to be a person of color and to need to go into that office and have it shoved in your face that no, the police really do not care about you, and in fact they're doing everything they can to deny that there's even a problem in the first place. Worse yet, the fingerprint window shares a window with the concealed carry window, so people getting concealed carry permits for guns can read all about how blacks are violent criminals that deserve what they get.

It seems extra horrible and inappropriate that this is there after two unarmed black men have been killed execution style in 2 days. I really have no words.
posted by zug at 3:55 PM on July 7, 2016 [34 favorites]




Did he say anything? I missed it.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 4:01 PM on July 7, 2016


No.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:02 PM on July 7, 2016


The police are supposed to protect all people.

This is not the job of the police. "No duty to protect."
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 4:02 PM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


Yeah, he seemed... like a parent talking to kid he's given up on...
posted by maggiemaggie at 4:03 PM on July 7, 2016 [7 favorites]


That's what I thought, but I wasn't paying full attention so I kind of hoped I was wrong.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 4:03 PM on July 7, 2016


I was surprised by Obama's remarks too. He seemed very distant, with occasional moments of passion but lots of long pauses. Which, in fairness, is about how I've felt since yesterday. And a bunch of obligatory "just because black lives matter doesn't mean blue lives don't matter too" stuff that I'm really not in the mood to hear right now.
posted by zachlipton at 4:06 PM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


It's also 1am in Poland.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:07 PM on July 7, 2016


Yeah, it was all very Disappointed Dad Who's Resigned to His Children's Terrible and At This Point Deeply Entrenched Life Choices. And he did seem tired, but he just came off a long flight and it's the middle of the night in Poland.
posted by yasaman at 4:24 PM on July 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


1) Do you know your city's police accountability procedures?
2) Do your police have any provisions for citizen oversight?
3) Is there a civilian oversight panel to review police shootings and misconduct?
4) if you do not know this you can google your city with police accountability/review procedures


I did this and it lead me to this document put out by the DoJ, Citizen Review of Police: Approaches and Implementation. In it, they review police oversight systems in the following places - Berkeley, Flint, Minneapolis, Orange County, Portland, Rochester, St. Paul, San Francisco and Tucson. It's from 2001, but it's pretty interesting.
posted by triggerfinger at 4:25 PM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


Mayor Murray here in Seattle just gave a press conference on police accountability and reform. It was ... not very reassuring. Seattlish tweeted a whole bunch and you can see others retweeted. Short version: let's create a new "independent" civic body to oversee the police but he won't say if he'll push for the union contract to include it. Plus he compared people calling for open union contract negotiations to being like Scott Walker in wanting to screw with unions. You know, he of the public union busting ... except police unions.

Grrrr.
posted by R343L at 4:29 PM on July 7, 2016 [6 favorites]


I think police need to be unarmed. This is my reason why:


I am a social worker. My job is to go into homes of strangers who need help. I have no scanner, no back ups, no rap sheets. I don't know who lives in the building or what's going on. When I helped people find housing, I got information on crime background checks. I know I've worked with all the types of " bad guys and gals" people with guilty charges ranging from murders and sex offences all the way to crimes of being homeless (loitering, tresspassing and such). Guess what? I've never been shot at. I've been threatened a few times, had uncomfortable conversations, been hit on, been witness to other violence, drug deals, abuse and neglect but I've done it alone and I've done it without wepons. My coworkers are expected to do the same. Every day. And reports of things do happen, but it's super rare and some basic safety goes a long way.

Here is a brief story,

I was in an office on a site alone, and this women who is super high on crack corners me. She is threatening, irrational and not making much since. I know she has a serious mental illness and done some time in prision. What do I do? I talk to her. Try to figure out what's going on. And litterally offered to help her. She left my office to get something that I could help her with, got distracted and fell asleep. No harm done. No police involvement, no wepons, no phones. Just me my wits and my heart.

It's part of the job I accept that I get workmans comp if something goes wrong. People don't know exactly where I am, there is no backup. I don't have backgrounds or history. If I die, I die.

If thousands of social workers are expected and experienced to help these people, why can't the police handle it? There are no special laws protecting me.

Yes, there are reasons to use force but they are rare, and generally enough time to call in back up.

This makes me so angry.
posted by AlexiaSky at 4:44 PM on July 7, 2016 [165 favorites]


Flowchart for Seattle police accountability.

I'm starting to wonder if we should hold an investigation into who shoved Ed Murray's head so far up his own ass, because that's gotta be a felony.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 4:45 PM on July 7, 2016 [6 favorites]


July 6, 2016 6:51 PM
Sterling is the 560th person killed by police this year in the United States.


July 7, 2016 4:46 PM
"Unknown" is the 566th person killed by police this year in the United States.
posted by standardasparagus at 4:46 PM on July 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


Advice I've read so far which always works 100% of the time

Have a really good friend who does the whole conceal carry thing. Years ago, when I was considering going for a CCW license, I asked him what the procedure was for getting pulled over while carrying. He said the first thing you do is inform the officer. The officer will possibly ask you to step out of the vehicle so he can see all movements. Will probably ask you to point to where the gun is located. And then the rest of it is supposed to be the normal business of a traffic stop. My friend, who is white, said the 3 times he's been stopped, he and the cop will end up in a brief conversation about guns. Friend usually carries a Glock, which is standard issue in a lot of police departments, so he and the cop would talk shop.

That's how such a stop is supposed to go, and how it does go for most white people who carry. There's utterly no excuse for what happened in MN.
posted by honestcoyote at 5:04 PM on July 7, 2016 [7 favorites]


AlexiaSky yeah, me too. I started doing social work as a 21 year old white girl walking alone into housing projects carrying a video camera and a laptop. This was before I even owned a cell phone. Was it sometimes scary? Did I have to deal with sometimes groups of young men yelling at me? Yup.

Later I started doing crisis intervention with people with severe mental illness. Only once did I rely on police to intervene and they were already present when the psychotic man started coming for me. I threatened to call the cops a couple of times, which worked to get people to leave my office. In other situations I was legally obligated to call the police, such as when someone was making threats. But sometimes I didn't follow my legal obligation. I had one client who straight up told me if I ever sent the police to his house, he would start shooting and commit suicide by cop. So I didn't. After I left my replacement did and he died.

But in none of the situations where the police were helpful to resolving crises that I dealt with were guns involved. They were helpful because their large presence was intimidating, or because they could restrain someone, or in a couple of cases because they used a taser. The only thing guns do is help the cops kill people, not resolve problems.
posted by threeturtles at 5:18 PM on July 7, 2016 [29 favorites]


I would love to see an unarmed police force, but is that a reasonable demand in the only country that has more guns than people?

I think if you go that route, then it needs to be hand in hand with stricter gun ownership laws in general (which I would totally support). While Police racism is very real, there also seems to be an aspect of police fearing guns and massively misreading nefarious behavior from innocent body language, which is also based in their heightened fear. I think this really demonstrates the fallacy of the bad guy with a gun vs. good guy with a gun - it's more like two jittery scared guys with guns and the one who shoots first is the defacto good guy (unless the other guy is a police officer). The other guy might not even have a gun for all we know. The stand-your-ground laws even support this recklessly fearful behavior.

We need a war on fear. That can mean reducing guns in the population and the police force. Police retraining. Giving these movements names that don't include "war on .." Better education and more efforts toward further integrating communities and social interaction within communities, etc. And much greater efforts against the most unjustified fear, racism.
posted by p3t3 at 5:40 PM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm too tired to link, but there are lots of vigils, marches and protests going on around the country tonight. New York shut down Times Square. Chicago shut down the expressway. Minneapolis marched to the governor's mansion. Oakland and LA are later tonight, I think.
posted by AFABulous at 5:48 PM on July 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


@MTVnews: 41 police officers were killed in 2015 while police officers shot dead 990 people. ‘Blue Lives Matter’ is bullshit.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:49 PM on July 7, 2016 [21 favorites]


Zug - I kept waiting for you to say that you picked up all the anti BLM Flyers and threw them out.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:00 PM on July 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


I am a social worker.

yeah, me too.

You are heroes.

I worked with MR/DD Adults for about a decade (both public and private sector agencies.) We had to deal with people who could become extremely violent to themselves and/or others. We had relatively basic training (a couple/few weeks on average) but managed not to kill or even seriously injuring anyone (restraining someone intent on injuring themself is tricky. (also, it was very much a weeks of boredom, moments of terror job. Most of the time it was pleasant. We did picknicks!))

The scariest part of our training was that if the cops showed up we were to defer to them even if what they did contradicted our own training. Nobody called the cops. We did five point restraint (exhausting!) for hours if need be, but nobody would call the cops.

Only after I left (I was burnt out) did I realize that was as much for our protection as our wards.

So yeah, I see videos of police academies boot camps and am not impressed.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:06 PM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


That cop who killed Castile sounds completely unstable. What the hell. Do they shoot up with steroids before going out on patrol?
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:10 PM on July 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


Dave Holmes: A Few Words for the Twitter Eggs:
It is a pattern by now. We watch a black man get killed by a police officer, we protest, we hashtag, we GoFund. An investigation is launched, no charges are filed. We ask when it's going to stop, and it keeps not stopping. Play video, feel hopeless, repeat.

But there is one step in the process that I would like to remove.

Every time I post or tweet about what's happening around us, someone with an egg or a bald eagle as their Twitter avatar, someone who tells it like it is, or fights against all this PC crap, or tags things with #TCOT, makes one of the following four arguments.
posted by palindromic at 6:15 PM on July 7, 2016 [11 favorites]


> That cop who killed Castile sounds completely unstable. What the hell. Do they shoot up with steroids before going out on patrol?
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:10 PM on July 7 [+] [!]


Yes. There's actually a lot of doctors who specialize in diagnosing police officers with "low T" and writing them prescriptions for steroids — they're sort of the bizarro-world version of the "green card doctors" you find in states with medical marijuana.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 6:21 PM on July 7, 2016 [7 favorites]


someone with an egg or a bald eagle as their Twitter avatar,

The bald eagle I get (it's their penis) but what's with the egg? Their whiteness?
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:22 PM on July 7, 2016


The egg is default for a new account.
posted by Drinky Die at 6:25 PM on July 7, 2016 [5 favorites]


The egg is default for a new account.

Really? Take some pride in your work!
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:28 PM on July 7, 2016


Yes. There's actually a lot of doctors who specialize in diagnosing police officers with "low T" and writing them prescriptions for steroids

far more wide ranging than just cops. it cropped up a few years ago and grows every year it seems. i've sat at many kitchen tables where wives complain about it.
posted by nadawi at 6:29 PM on July 7, 2016 [4 favorites]






Sheriff: Man pointed shotgun at drivers, fired at Wake deputy
Deputy D.R. Farmer stopped to question Ray in response to reports of a man pointing a shotgun at passing drivers, and Ray became belligerent and pointed the shotgun at Farmer, Sheriff Donnie Harrison said.

"The deputy luckily grabbed the barrel and pushed him back," Harrison said. "The man says, 'I got something for you' and reached in his pocket and came back with a pistol."

As Farmer pushed the .22-caliber handgun aside, the gun went off, the sheriff said.

"Luckily, nobody got hurt. That’s the good thing. God was looking out for us," Harrison said.
This sounds to me like as threatening a situation as you could imagine as an officer, but because the guy with the guns was white, police looked at him and didn't see an "it" or a "demon".
posted by clawsoon at 6:30 PM on July 7, 2016 [7 favorites]


Can we not do the "testosterone = steroids" thing? It's transphobic.
posted by AFABulous at 6:31 PM on July 7, 2016 [17 favorites]




.
posted by greermahoney at 6:58 PM on July 7, 2016


I just can't stop thinking about that 4 year old girl in the backseat. I can't stop seeing Philando lying on the car seat bleeding out and his girlfriend wasn't allowed to cradle his head or hold his hand to comfort him in his dying breath. I was terrified we would see her being killed too. As horrifying and terrible as it is to see these poor men being shot in cold blood, the refusal to render the slightest bit of help adds another cruel depth of inhumanity.

Black mefites, I am so deeply sorry.
posted by madamjujujive at 7:05 PM on July 7, 2016 [19 favorites]


Shit is getting ugly. Reports of a police officer down in Dallas. (Video is not graphic)
posted by AFABulous at 7:09 PM on July 7, 2016


I want to add... the story about the guy with the shotgun and the .22 is a hopeful one, in one way, because it shows that better policing is possible. They saw a guy with a mental illness, and they succeeded in de-escalating without anyone getting hurt. They did some emotional labour, the kind that threeturtles and AlexiaSky described doing on a regular basis to keep people from hurting themselves and others.
posted by clawsoon at 7:10 PM on July 7, 2016 [4 favorites]


The worst part about the little girl was hearing her comfort her mother in the police car. "It's ok. I'm right here with you."
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 7:12 PM on July 7, 2016 [8 favorites]


It is beyond heartbreaking to see and hear the words that precious 4 year old said to her mommy.
posted by futz at 7:12 PM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]




On the NRA's facebook page, members are getting louder by the minute with their complaints about the lack of an official statement regarding Philando Castile and his Second Amendment rights.
posted by triggerfinger at 7:18 PM on July 7, 2016 [12 favorites]


KTVT in Dallas reports that two officers are down after having been shot at a protest.
posted by Justinian at 7:32 PM on July 7, 2016




fuck
posted by zachlipton at 7:35 PM on July 7, 2016


On the NRA's facebook page, members are getting louder by the minute with their complaints about the lack of an official statement regarding Philando Castile and his Second Amendment rights.

Atrios: "Legal guns (including open carry, concealed carry, stand your ground, etc.) exist so that white people can enact their vigilante fantasies involving "protecting" themselves from black people. Whatever the law says, it is illegal for black people to own and possess guns, and possession is proof of an imminent threat that justifies execution by law enforcement or any white person."

I wouldn't count on a statement from the NRA. They know their audience, and it's white cops and white Republicans.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:36 PM on July 7, 2016 [16 favorites]


per dallas pd scanner, suspect up high, SWAT taking fire. please let's NOT DO THIS
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 7:42 PM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


Live coverage from local (Dallas) station Fox4
posted by miguelcervantes at 7:43 PM on July 7, 2016




Jesus. It sounds like a war zone right in the middle of a major American city. Praying for everyone in the area.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:48 PM on July 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


Fox4 saying 3-6 officers down.
posted by miguelcervantes at 7:52 PM on July 7, 2016


Holy shit, that audio.
posted by Existential Dread at 7:53 PM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


I really hope everyone stays safe tonight. I have a scary feeling like history is happening.
posted by mrjohnmuller at 7:55 PM on July 7, 2016 [9 favorites]


I have a scary feeling that history is not happening.
posted by space_cookie at 8:07 PM on July 7, 2016 [4 favorites]


Officers in the Castile shooting have been identified as Officer Jeronimo Yanez and Officer Joseph Kauser. Yanez pulled the trigger. Apparently there's also dash cam video of the stop but no body camera video.
posted by nathan_teske at 8:08 PM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


I have a scary feeling like history is happening.

With each one of these shootings, I've had this sort of flashback to my high school history classes, especially ancient civiilizations. It was long enough ago that of course i can't come up with a specific example, but I remember that every now and then we'd learn about an incident in Ancient Rome or Greece or Persia -- something that if they had "news" back then would have been a news story. Like not a giant longform article about the changing nature of Roman society in the Atlantic Monthly (or Mediterranean Monthly), but just a regular news story about some guy who did some thing or some thing that happened on the nightly news. And of course we were learning about it and learning that some guy's name 2000 years later because it was some sort of turning point. The aftermath of that nightly-news event and people's views of it changed the course of the civilization. I'm not talking "Great Man" history, but regular people who stuff happened to or who said stuff and it ended up sparking something.

And when I was in high school and I learned about these things I remember how it kind of boggled my mind that people who were just random people living their lives and having stuff happen to them that wasn't that different than what lots of other people did and had happen to them ended up being turning points. And that they probably never even knew they were turning points, but there I was 2000 years later learning their names. There were more modern examples, too (Emmett Till, comes to mind).

But with each of these high publicity police killings I flash back to that weird dissonance of HS history of how regular people doing things that are unfortunately very common can spark things and change history and it feels like that's happening and that we won't see the full scope of it for many years, but decades and maybe even centuries from now kids in high school will learn about how the murders of Trayvon Martin and Alton Sterling and Freddie Gray etc. etc. changed history. Not because they were unusual events but because they WEREN'T and somehow it was these ones and not the other 500 this year that sparked something.

That's no consolation to any of the families, I know, especially since I don't know if history is going to turn for the better or worse here, but I also have this sense that what we're seeing in the past couple of years and maybe the next couple of years around these killings is history-making.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 8:09 PM on July 7, 2016 [7 favorites]


MSNBC says shooter surrounded and a negotiator team talking to him
posted by madamjujujive at 8:10 PM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]




The current headline on CNN TV is that three Dallas transit officers were shot.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:17 PM on July 7, 2016


I wouldn't count on a statement from the NRA. They know their audience, and it's white cops and white Republicans.

I know that and you know that but I think the NRA still relies heavily on plausible deniability and a lot of their members/supporters buy into it. If they fail to make a statement affirming their stated belief in EVERY American's right to carry a gun, then their facade starts to slip. I think they still stand to lose a lot of support if the general population starts to see them as basically a white supremacist org.
posted by triggerfinger at 8:19 PM on July 7, 2016 [8 favorites]


MSNBC says 2 officers shot, 7 people injured. I can't pretend to understand how to parse that.
posted by mollweide at 8:20 PM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


People from my church were at that march. They are safe, sheltering in locked Dallas Morning-News building.

I wish I could feel any surprise, but the only surprise I feel is that it didn't happen sooner.
posted by emjaybee at 8:22 PM on July 7, 2016 [4 favorites]


I have heard about 20 different things on Twitter. One suspect, two suspect, both in custody, one on the loose, 3 shot, 6 shot, etc. We're not going to know until tomorrow.
posted by AFABulous at 8:22 PM on July 7, 2016


MSNBC says 2 officers shot, 7 people injured. I can't pretend to understand how to parse that.

Probably trampled. When crowds panic it can get ugly and dangerous.
posted by Justinian at 8:24 PM on July 7, 2016


If they fail to make a statement affirming their stated belief in EVERY American's right to carry a gun, then their facade starts to slip.

I think they are going to wait for more details. Why piss off the racist part of their base if it later turns out this guy did in fact have the gun illegally or something else that makes him "no angel" to that crowd? This isn't a matter of life or death for them, just another potential chance for propaganda.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:25 PM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


One of the officers is now confirmed to have died.
posted by Justinian at 8:26 PM on July 7, 2016


.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:27 PM on July 7, 2016


Let's hope that the suspects are taken alive and that the cops live, because if any of the cops die Texas will execute the shooter.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 8:27 PM on July 7, 2016




The shots in posted videos sound high caliber and from above. Like someone planned this. I can't even fathom why.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:30 PM on July 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


On the Dallas feed they just arrested a guy ... apparently just because he was wearing body armor? Is it illegal as a civilian to wear body armor? WTF
posted by RedEmma at 8:31 PM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


3 confirmed dead.

. . .
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 8:32 PM on July 7, 2016


.

There were reports the shooter had some kind of body armor too. This must have been planned.
posted by zachlipton at 8:32 PM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


10 shot, 3 dead, all cops. 2 snipers. Jesus Christ.
posted by emjaybee at 8:32 PM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


3 officers dead.
posted by lalex at 8:32 PM on July 7, 2016


Like someone planned this. I can't even fathom why.

I can.

2 snipers

3 officers dead

-msnbc
posted by futz at 8:32 PM on July 7, 2016


(per the City's statement just now)
posted by emjaybee at 8:33 PM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


2 snipers shot 10 police officers from elevated positions. In addition to 3 dead, 3 more are critical condition.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 8:33 PM on July 7, 2016


Arrested is better than shot. Doing the former almost sounds professional.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:33 PM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


Well. Fuck.
posted by dinty_moore at 8:34 PM on July 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


Is it illegal as a civilian to wear body armor? WTF

If they had a prior felony conviction, yes. But under the circumstances the cops probably just took anybody suspicious into custody and will sort them out later.
posted by Justinian at 8:36 PM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


CNN is currently reporting no suspects in custody...
posted by Drinky Die at 8:36 PM on July 7, 2016


Horrifying. Unspeakably ugly gets even uglier. Everyone says protest had been peaceful, good interaction between protesters and police.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:37 PM on July 7, 2016


Dammit, my internet search skills are failing, and I can't find the quote or reference.

REMINDER
Breaking news is often wrong and you shouldn't make snap judgements about what you are seeing until more facts are available.

With that said, I have a bad feeling about this.
posted by daq at 8:38 PM on July 7, 2016 [7 favorites]


Well, the 3 dead, 2 in surgery, 3 more in critical condition information is directly from an official statement from the Dallas chief of police so it's the best info available.
posted by Justinian at 8:39 PM on July 7, 2016


On the Dallas feed they just arrested a guy ... apparently just because he was wearing body armor? Is it illegal as a civilian to wear body armor? WTF

He apparently drove around a blockade per one reporter but I don't know what really happened. He looked disoriented.

The gunshots echoing in that video...

Shooters still at large.

I'm so scared for the backlash and fallout once this is over.
posted by emjaybee at 8:40 PM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


I hope that body count is wrong and much lower, because jesus.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:40 PM on July 7, 2016


This incident in Dallas is obviously tragic and I condemn all violence, but we will need to wait till all the facts are out and not rush to judgment.
posted by phearlez at 8:41 PM on July 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


Based on the reports right this second, some of the shot officers are just DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) personnel, not even police. Not armed, either. (Link, DMN = Dallas Morning News, local paper.)

Reports on the ground at this point are suggesting the shots were fired at protesters and uniformed personnel both.

But yeah. Bad feeling. Really very much not good.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:42 PM on July 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


The body count is from the statement of the City of Dallas read out on the news. I think it's accurate.

Press briefing in 20 minutes.
posted by emjaybee at 8:42 PM on July 7, 2016


as with every goddamn american mass shooting, the only thought and prayer i can muster is please let the shooters be white, please be white, please be white, because as fucked as we will be then, otherwise we are 100% even more fucked
posted by nicepersonality at 8:43 PM on July 7, 2016 [36 favorites]


The videos from Dallas are showing a mom in BLM shirt running from the shooting pushing a baby carriage. Whoever the snipers are they don't have their lives as a priority. Fuck.
posted by moonlight on vermont at 8:44 PM on July 7, 2016 [5 favorites]


Looks like it's at the corner in front of El Centro College?
posted by ctmf at 8:50 PM on July 7, 2016


This is truly awful. This is truly awful shit.
posted by RedShrek at 8:54 PM on July 7, 2016


continuing gunfire.

11th cop shot
posted by futz at 8:55 PM on July 7, 2016


I was just at the BLM march in downtown Seattle. Like I'm literally sitting down at home right this second. Everything was calm and peaceful. I joined up late 'cause I had to be elsewhere, but from what I saw even the police were perfectly calm. Blocked off streets, no riot gear.

Then on the way home my girlfriend sees the news about Dallas on her phone. WTF.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 8:55 PM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


MSNBC reporting more gunfire and an 11th officer shot.
posted by current resident at 8:55 PM on July 7, 2016


PIc of alleged sniper...is a black man. Oh no.
posted by emjaybee at 8:56 PM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


The shooter(s) have further set back the cause of social justice regardless of their ultimate motive. This does not help advance pro-police reform policies. It is an atrocity on top of atrocities.

As the murders of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling horrifically demonstrated, frightened cops trained to treat black men as threats are an awful thing. Murdering police will only make more officers fearful and thus an even bigger threat to the lives of black men.

Sincere condolences to the families of the latest set of victims. We must keep pushing for justice.
posted by Joey Michaels at 8:58 PM on July 7, 2016 [10 favorites]


presser ongoing. Possible bomb threat.
posted by emjaybee at 8:58 PM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


This is one of our suspects. Please help us find him!

CNN was speaking with a witness who earlier saw someone with an assault rifle in the crowd right as this picture came out, the witness confirmed this was the man he saw.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:59 PM on July 7, 2016


Yeah, Dallas PD circulating photo of black male with high caliber rifle, says he's a suscept. But he's walking casually in crowd, no one seems alarmed by him, so who knows.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:59 PM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


The witness was from Illinois. He said he didn't know if he should be suspicious or not because he thought carrying around a rifle might just be normal in Texas.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:00 PM on July 7, 2016 [29 favorites]


On the Media's Breaking News Consumer Handbook is always worth a reread at times like this:

Active Shooter Edition
Terrorism Edition
posted by perplexion at 9:00 PM on July 7, 2016 [7 favorites]


as with every goddamn american mass shooting, the only thought and prayer i can muster is please let the shooters be white, please be white, please be white, because as fucked as we will be then, otherwise we are 100% even more fucked

I honestly don't think it matters who the snipers are, the black and brown communities will be blamed and they will pay the price.

I'm scared for friends and family in a way I didn't think I had to be anymore. Even moreso than I was half an hour ago.
posted by dinty_moore at 9:01 PM on July 7, 2016 [12 favorites]


I would caution against circulating that photo at this point.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:01 PM on July 7, 2016 [31 favorites]


What evidence do they have that guy is involved? Just because he's black and has a gun?
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:02 PM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


Carrying the rifle was legal, yes.

They say they know it was the same as the kind used in shooting (based on bullets?) but haven't heard anything tying this gun to shooting.
posted by emjaybee at 9:02 PM on July 7, 2016


A little disturbing to hear first that he's a person of interest, then goes on to say that the reason is that he has a rifle (sure, that makes sense, look into him), but I mean he doesn't look like a guy on his way to shooting 11 people, so let's not jump to conclusions...and then the next thing they say is "We will bring him to justice." which seems a little premature.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 9:03 PM on July 7, 2016 [4 favorites]


At this point, is anyone surprised that being black and having a gun is considered enough?
posted by dinty_moore at 9:03 PM on July 7, 2016 [15 favorites]


Dude, they don't know he has anything to do with it, they just know he had a rifle. It's not nothing, but it's still just guessing.
posted by ctmf at 9:04 PM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


Brandon, the police released that photo
posted by madamjujujive at 9:04 PM on July 7, 2016


Hopefully this guy knows his pic is out there as a suspect and is on his way to a lawyer's office so he can approach police and demonstrate his non-murdery-ness (assuming he's non-murdery).
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 9:04 PM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


I have good friends who were talking about being there tonight. Thankfully I don't think they went. At least one didn't. They didn't like the guy organizing it, whatever that means. This is just unreal and terrifying. I'm so worried about backlash.
posted by threeturtles at 9:04 PM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


Black humor time; reporters saying "but as we KNOW it was PERFECTLY LEGAL to carry a gun like this in a protest." Because we living in fucking yee-ha Texas.
posted by emjaybee at 9:05 PM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


madamjujujive: I think the point is that the police are releasing that photo with very little reason to think he's involved and yet saying they're going to "bring him to justice."
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 9:05 PM on July 7, 2016 [6 favorites]


"Do not approach the subject. We will bring him to justice."

sorry chief of police, that does not reassure me at all.
posted by futz at 9:06 PM on July 7, 2016 [21 favorites]


Like how much does it make sense that he was chilling in the crowd when the shots later came from above? The tweet I saw from Dallas PD called him a suspect. So he was a visible dude at a protest in a state where openly carrying that sort of thing is legal?
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 9:06 PM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


The bringing him to justice phrasing was inappropriate, but I can't see any way the police would be doing their duty if they didn't investigate him in this situation. They have to cover their bases.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:07 PM on July 7, 2016


My bad feeling just got worse.
posted by daq at 9:08 PM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


Are there live videos going on in Dallas right now? I just have The Guardian up.
posted by gucci mane at 9:09 PM on July 7, 2016


What's the basis for believing there's a bomb? Was a threat called in?
posted by yasaman at 9:09 PM on July 7, 2016


The bringing him to justice phrasing was inappropriate, but I can't see any way the police would be doing their duty if they didn't investigate him in this situation.

agreed. that was not my point.
posted by futz at 9:10 PM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


NBC channel five, ABC channel 8, CBS channel 11 are all local to D/FW if you are checking news online.
posted by emjaybee at 9:12 PM on July 7, 2016


I can't even. Going to bed early. I remember after the 9/11 attacks feeling devastated and also terrified of waking up the next day to a backlash of people beating or killing Muslims or anyone who looked Middle Eastern. That happened, and that's kind of how I feel now. I'm afraid of what I'm going to wake up to tomorrow. We didn't need the earlier murders, we don't need these murders. There is so much work we white people need to do, so much fucking work before Black people can stop being terrorised by the police, government officials, yadda yadda. Sorry, y'all know this. This isn't any news at all. Stay safe if you can. Hugs to all.
posted by Bella Donna at 9:12 PM on July 7, 2016 [4 favorites]


There's a reddit live feed here, which has been more informative than CNN (big surprise).
posted by Death and Gravity at 9:12 PM on July 7, 2016


The bringing him to justice phrasing was inappropriate, but I can't see any way the police would be doing their duty if they didn't investigate him in this situation. They have to cover their bases.

There's a difference between investigating a man and releasing his photo to the public as a suspect.
posted by dinty_moore at 9:12 PM on July 7, 2016 [5 favorites]


Man claiming to be suspect's brother just ran up to CBS reporter, is now talking to cops. Says his brother put down his gun before shooting started.
posted by emjaybee at 9:13 PM on July 7, 2016 [10 favorites]


I'm so worried about backlash.

I'm already getting "thin blue line" solidarity posts on Facebook through extended family. Complete silence up until tonight, of course. The backlash will unfortunately become the only story by tomorrow, and then you'll hear all the usual bombthrowers turned up to 11.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:13 PM on July 7, 2016 [5 favorites]


Yeah sounds like the only thing they know is he had a rifle.
posted by Justinian at 9:14 PM on July 7, 2016


Look idk if this is idle speculative bullshit but how does this guy fit the actual shooter profile at all? So the sequence of events here is supposed to be that he was marching in a protest downtown with his AR-15 in open carry, in shorts and a t-shirt, then snuck off to a nearby building where he'd presumably already stashed body armor and precision sniper gear and put it all together and got himself to a tactical overhead position in time to open fire on the same protest he'd just been marching in. That sounds like a really...significant amount of prep and planning to for an event that was only organized this morning. IDK man, IDK.
posted by moonlight on vermont at 9:14 PM on July 7, 2016 [9 favorites]


There's a difference between investigating a man and releasing his photo to the public as a suspect.

You'd like to think the police would be better at investigation than the average reddit post, but you'd be entirely wrong. Just unbelievably irresponsible.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:14 PM on July 7, 2016 [4 favorites]


Video seemingly of the same dude wandering about the crowd after shots fired.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 9:14 PM on July 7, 2016 [20 favorites]


msnbc

4 dead officers
posted by futz at 9:15 PM on July 7, 2016


MSNBC reporting a 4th officer has died.
posted by current resident at 9:15 PM on July 7, 2016


It is hard for me to imagine that anybody who would shoot into a crowd of protesters, many of them people of color, could believe that black lives matter.
posted by zachlipton at 9:15 PM on July 7, 2016 [4 favorites]


yes, the police circulated the photo, that makes sense for them to do so, but it's a rapidly changing situation and I caution everyone on involving themselves in it at this point. But the choice is yours.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:15 PM on July 7, 2016 [5 favorites]


Fox reporting active shooting now and new officers down. And yes, fourth officer dead.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 9:16 PM on July 7, 2016


[Given the currently questionable nature of the suspect's involvement let's maybe not publicize his name until there's considerably more information.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 9:16 PM on July 7, 2016 [20 favorites]


I don't know what the basis is, but local news is sharing the thing about a possible bomb, saying it comes from the chief of police.
posted by threeturtles at 9:17 PM on July 7, 2016




No suspects in custody is being pushed hard right now on the news feeds.
posted by daq at 9:18 PM on July 7, 2016


I don't know what the basis is, but local news is sharing the thing about a possible bomb, saying it comes from the chief of police.

Video of the Chief of Police mentioning a possible bomb. Very vague.
posted by zachlipton at 9:19 PM on July 7, 2016


Fox confused it's own live vs. replay feed. So reporters thought there was new gunfire and new officer down, but there wasn't.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 9:20 PM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


Oh, JFC. Fox reported new officers down because they 'saw' it on re-rolled earlier footage. Appears not to be true.
posted by ctmf at 9:21 PM on July 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


This is Dallas Morning News video ; someone who looks like person of interest, w/ gun, in crowd at time of shooting at very beginning on the left.
posted by emjaybee at 9:21 PM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


It really sucks when the police and the press fall victim to that same quirk of human nature that makes us want to get unverified information out there. I guess the cost/benefit is that if there is a bomb people should know about it, but of course if there's not, you're raising the emotional temperature in an already very tense situation.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:22 PM on July 7, 2016


Fox confused it's own live vs. replay feed. So reporters thought there was new gunfire and new officer down, but there wasn't.

Well, that's incompetent. But a relief.
posted by Existential Dread at 9:22 PM on July 7, 2016 [4 favorites]


i was listening to the scanner when officers requested video from the McDonalds (i think) after taking the report of a bystander regarding this guy in camo carrying a rifle. Clearly they did get the video. I don't think the police have any idea if this guy was actually involved, they just want to check it out.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 9:22 PM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


This is local for us. I've been to previous BLM rallies, and it was not uncommon to see folks with long rifles, but they were your usual misfit lunatics there to overtly threaten the crowd, while chanting their mantra about gun rights. But when a black guy carries the same gun, suddenly he's a suspect who will be brought to justice.

Local cbs channel reporting 11 cops shot, including the Dart employees, 4 deceased.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 9:22 PM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


How about we let the 1000 reporters who are actually there tell the story? You're just fucking it up, fox.
posted by ctmf at 9:22 PM on July 7, 2016 [4 favorites]


Fox4 is emphasizing that the guy in the photo is not a suspect, he's a person of interest. As they play video of him in the march shortly before the first shots were fired.
posted by hades at 9:23 PM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


Without naming names, there is reporting that the brother of the subject of the picture says he is not the shooter and he turned over his weapon to law enforcement.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:23 PM on July 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


Again, per the advice linked in perplexion's comment:


1. In the immediate aftermath, news outlets will get it wrong.

2. Don't trust anonymous sources.

3. Don't trust stories that cite another news outlet as the source of the information.

4. There's almost never a second shooter.

5. Pay attention to the language the media uses.
• “We are getting reports”… could mean anything.
• “We are seeking confirmation”… means they don’t have it.
• “[News outlet] has learned”… means it has a scoop or is going out on limb.
6. Look for news outlets close to the incident.

7. Compare multiple sources.

8. Big news brings out the fakers. And photoshoppers.

9. Beware reflexive retweeting. Some of this is on you.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:24 PM on July 7, 2016 [57 favorites]


from msnbc it is looking like the published photo of the "person of interest" is NOT an actual suspect. He was just a lawful gun owner who happened to be black so of course he is a person of interest, ya know? An interesting person of color who was exercising their constitional rights without having the right skin tone.

pukes.
posted by futz at 9:25 PM on July 7, 2016 [23 favorites]


Are... are the cops going to fully come at us now?
posted by tivalasvegas at 9:26 PM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


Backlash? What you call backlash is just normal day to day life for many black people. Let's not pretend that white people were going to be ever sympathetic to the plight of black folks before this shitfest in Dallas. Who needs their sympathy anyway?
posted by RedShrek at 9:26 PM on July 7, 2016 [8 favorites]


Video on twitter shows this guy milling about with everyone else while the shots are being fired.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:26 PM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


Linking to it would be identifying but I've seen a couple things about the suspect in that photo being a brother of one of the organizers and handed over his rifle to law enforcement when shooting started.
posted by threeturtles at 9:27 PM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


And now Joe Walsh (not the Eagles guy, the other one) has apparently gone full skinhead. Lovely.
posted by non canadian guy at 9:27 PM on July 7, 2016 [4 favorites]


Are... are the cops going to fully come at us now?

As opposed to?
posted by phearlez at 9:27 PM on July 7, 2016 [6 favorites]




I legit need a hug right now. My country is breaking my heart.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 9:29 PM on July 7, 2016 [15 favorites]


Person of interest turned himself in.
posted by yertledaturtle at 9:29 PM on July 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


It's that much more dangerous now for black and brown Americans than it was five hours ago is what I mean.
posted by tivalasvegas at 9:30 PM on July 7, 2016 [14 favorites]


That's why you don't circulate shit from such a fast moving situation. Don't feed the mob from comfort of your computer.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:30 PM on July 7, 2016 [51 favorites]


Guy who was person of interest has turned himself in. A different alleged suspect in custody. A suspicious package was discovered/is being looked at by bomb squad.
posted by emjaybee at 9:31 PM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


Given the Dallas PD tweeted his pic calling him a suspect for likely no other reason than he was doing something legal when something illegal happened nearby, what is the best way they should handle correcting the info? They still have that tweet up without any followup that I can see.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 9:35 PM on July 7, 2016 [10 favorites]


I think that assault rifle owners who like to carry them around are just gonna have to put up with being investigated when other gun owners decide to commit terrorist attacks nearby.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:36 PM on July 7, 2016 [23 favorites]


Praise the lord, and pass the allegations
posted by thelonius at 9:36 PM on July 7, 2016 [4 favorites]


And now Joe Walsh (not the Eagles guy, the other one) has apparently gone full skinhead. Lovely.

A US Congressman from Texas threatening the sitting President of the United States.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:37 PM on July 7, 2016 [5 favorites]


I think that assault rifle owners who like to carry them around are just gonna have to put up with being investigated when other gun owners decide to commit terrorist attacks nearby.

Only if POC.
posted by futz at 9:37 PM on July 7, 2016 [25 favorites]


I don't know what the fuck to say to this but it's bad and I can't imagine the danger black and brown ppl are in right now. The Dallas PD is in a state of total panic if they're tweeting out pictures of "suspects" on the same basis as people saying Beyonce's performances are hate speech-- black, armed, military bearing, wearing camo, it must be this dude. This is the phase where the police shot up random vehicles during the Dorner manhunt. Thank god this guy was able to turn himself in and was taken into custody before the police or someone else decided to "bring him to justice."
posted by moonlight on vermont at 9:38 PM on July 7, 2016 [7 favorites]


Let's not kid ourselves.
posted by futz at 9:38 PM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's sort of like when open carry suddenly seemed less fun because the Black Panthers were doing it too.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 9:39 PM on July 7, 2016 [50 favorites]


Guy who was person of interest has turned himself in. A different alleged suspect in custody. A suspicious package was discovered/is being looked at by bomb squad.

REMINDER PLEASE LINK SOURCES DO NOT POST TEXT RUMORS
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:40 PM on July 7, 2016 [8 favorites]


Walsh deleted his threats against BLM and Obama already, I hope someone got a screen shot.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:41 PM on July 7, 2016 [4 favorites]




And now Joe Walsh (not the Eagles guy, the other one) has apparently gone full skinhead. Lovely.

A US Congressman from Texas threatening the sitting President of the United States.


Ex 1-term congressmen, frothing radio wingnut, and deadbeat dad.
posted by lalochezia at 9:41 PM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


And now Joe Walsh (not the Eagles guy, the other one) has apparently gone full skinhead. Lovely.

Missed it, now deleted.
posted by ctmf at 9:41 PM on July 7, 2016


Walsh deleted his threats against BLM and Obama already, I hope someone got a screen shot.

I screenshotted the threat.
posted by yertledaturtle at 9:42 PM on July 7, 2016 [18 favorites]


This is what the tweet said:
Joe Walsh @WalshFreedom
3 Dallas Cops killed, 7 wounded.

This is now war. Watch out Obama. Watch out black lives matter punks. Real America is coming after you.

posted by miguelcervantes at 9:44 PM on July 7, 2016 [25 favorites]


Guy who was person of interest has turned himself in. A different alleged suspect in custody. A suspicious package was discovered/is being looked at by bomb squad.

REMINDER PLEASE LINK SOURCES DO NOT POST TEXT RUMORS
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:40 AM on July 8 [+] [!]


Dallas PD Twitter account
posted by current resident at 9:45 PM on July 7, 2016


Screenshot here.
posted by murphy slaw at 9:45 PM on July 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


Walsh was a member of Congress from Illinois, not Texas.
posted by burden at 9:47 PM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


omg msnbc is pissing me off. trying to justify singling out the "black person deserving of extra scrutiny because black" (my embellishment)
posted by futz at 9:47 PM on July 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


Copy of screenshot.
posted by yertledaturtle at 9:49 PM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


i need to sleep so badly but i can't look away
posted by murphy slaw at 9:49 PM on July 7, 2016


My worksite tomorrow morning is next door to a police station, there's typically a 50/50 chance of a cop grabbing lunch at the Subway down the street at the same time as me.

I. I don't know how that interaction will be negotiated tomorrow.

I'm literally thinking about my day, what neighborhoods I'll be travelling through and thinking about what might be the safest routes. There will be a lot of twitchy white cops and I look like a terrorist apparently.

Off to bed. I can't deal with this shit for another minute. There will be time enough tomorrow.
posted by tivalasvegas at 9:49 PM on July 7, 2016 [5 favorites]




Uhh, CNN is airing cell phone video of a shooter right now.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:50 PM on July 7, 2016


"we won't have democracy if we don't have the thin blue line" - some fbi dude on msnbc who is also using the history of the JFK shooting
posted by futz at 9:53 PM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


Baton Rouge as well? Fuck.
posted by lalochezia at 9:53 PM on July 7, 2016


The shooter is on the street level. The video is too far away to do any identification.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:53 PM on July 7, 2016


This is so awful.
posted by Joe in Australia at 9:53 PM on July 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


The shooter arrived in a car and popped out and immediately began shooting.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:56 PM on July 7, 2016


wtf
posted by mazola at 9:57 PM on July 7, 2016


Screenshot
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 9:58 PM on July 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


My previous comments about the CNN video refer to the Dallas incident, if it is unclear.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:58 PM on July 7, 2016


Baton Rouge shooting may be unrelated gang activity. I can't find anything more than that.
posted by threeturtles at 10:00 PM on July 7, 2016




All of the above statements about CNNs supposedly real video are speculation based on what a witness who video taped a tiny piece of a shootout at ground level is saying who ALSO said a bunch of weird stuff about BLM being behind it. So please stop quoting randomly. Link sources you trust or don't post. The CNN video might be real or it might not, the eye witnesses report might be right or might be made up.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:01 PM on July 7, 2016 [8 favorites]


I'm scared for my country and I'm scared of my country.
posted by EatTheWeak at 10:02 PM on July 7, 2016 [13 favorites]


[Folks, the reason we don't do breaking-news threads is partly that the chances of amplifying complete horsepucky is very high. Please try not to do that thing here. Thanks. ]
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 10:05 PM on July 7, 2016 [22 favorites]




Turns out the good guy with the rifle didn't help any.
posted by ctmf at 10:06 PM on July 7, 2016 [9 favorites]


Sorry I was not clear earlier, my source was local CBS tv news, I was repeating what they said.
posted by emjaybee at 10:08 PM on July 7, 2016


Link sources you trust or don't post.

I trust CNN.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:09 PM on July 7, 2016


I trust CNN.

Thanks. I truly needed that laugh right now.
posted by zachlipton at 10:12 PM on July 7, 2016 [54 favorites]


It's worth pointing out that news organizations, these days, dump horsepucky to the internet just as fast as anyone. They're paid for eyeballs and not criticized much any more for inaccuracy. I have flashbacks to the Boston bombing thread - Reddit wasn't the only organization that fucked that one up good.
posted by restless_nomad at 10:12 PM on July 7, 2016 [33 favorites]


Turns out the good guy with the rifle didn't help any.

I understand the point that you are making but thank god his brother recognized what was going on and made him turn over his gun to police on scene or he'd probably be dead too. At least one person in Minnesota was executed today for lawful possession of a firearm that was concealed. This guy has a smart sibling. Probably saved his brother's life.
posted by futz at 10:16 PM on July 7, 2016 [31 favorites]


I just got home after completing a 30 hour drive from the Pacific Northwest where I was mostly away from all media and OMG America, wtf happened in that time.

All I know for myself at this point is that I have to become more useful in fighting for the arc of justice in what ever the best way that is. This is so fucked up. I have nothing at the moment but shock and sadness.
posted by Annika Cicada at 10:18 PM on July 7, 2016 [5 favorites]


It's worth pointing out that news organizations, these days, dump horsepucky to the internet just as fast as anyone.

And the official police channels too
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:18 PM on July 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


At this point I just want to get a chance of understanding in general terms the size and severity of the catastrophe of the day before the next one hits.

Relatedly, can't sleep.
posted by tivalasvegas at 10:18 PM on July 7, 2016 [6 favorites]




Reddit live-feed is saying both shooters are alive and in custody and danger to the public is now over. Can anyone confirm? Dallas PD twitter says two people were stopped in a vehicle but that's it.

EDIT: Ack, Potomac beat me to it.
posted by a power-tie-wearing she-capitalist at 10:19 PM on July 7, 2016


where I was mostly away from all media and OMG America, wtf happened in that time.

As someone in my time-line succinctly put it: “Oh, just Civil War II. Not much.”
posted by Fizz at 10:19 PM on July 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


As always, I like to turn to Damon Young: America, The Beautiful Fucking Joke.
posted by TwoStride at 10:19 PM on July 7, 2016


Turns out the good guy with the rifle didn't help any.

According to what the friends who were with his brother said, the weapon was not even loaded. He wasn't there with any belief he might use a gun to kill bad guys or something.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:20 PM on July 7, 2016 [4 favorites]


According to MSNBCs Chris Hayes RTing a local radio news source both suspects in custody.

it is 5 minutes later and msnbc isn't reporting it.
posted by futz at 10:25 PM on July 7, 2016


Another Dallas PD press conference expected soon.

Local news streaming page
posted by zachlipton at 10:26 PM on July 7, 2016


thank god his brother recognized what was going on and made him turn over his gun to police on scene or he'd probably be dead too.

That's actually my point. If he'd been instead a hard-core NRA wing nut and tried to "help", there's a lot more chance (like, near 100%) he'd be dead now. Contrary to the idiots who will always cry "more guns would have helped!"
posted by ctmf at 10:27 PM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


Is anyone else desperately hoping the suspects are white?
posted by Talez at 10:31 PM on July 7, 2016 [17 favorites]


Yes.
posted by monopas at 10:32 PM on July 7, 2016 [14 favorites]


ctmf: Contrary to the idiots who will always cry "more guns would have helped!"

America needs less guns. Less civilian guns, less police guns, less military guns, less guns shipped to war zones and repressive regimes. Less guns.
posted by clawsoon at 10:32 PM on July 7, 2016 [43 favorites]


yes.
posted by futz at 10:33 PM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


I think the point is that in the fantasy scenario of the good guy with the gun, it never ends with the good guy identified as a suspect, turning himself and his gun into the cops, and his brother frantically tweeting that he's not the killer. The real world, it turns out, does not work like we were promised.
posted by maxsparber at 10:34 PM on July 7, 2016 [22 favorites]


Oh yes. One of the first things I thought.
posted by booksherpa at 10:34 PM on July 7, 2016


Live press conference on air right now:
Police chief confirms they are STILL "negotiating" with a suspect in one of the parking garages.

There is still an active shooter situation.
posted by daq at 10:35 PM on July 7, 2016


America needs less guns. Less civilian guns, less police guns, less military guns, less guns shipped to war zones and repressive regimes. Less guns.

Indeed. More ex-guns.
posted by ctmf at 10:35 PM on July 7, 2016


it is 5 minutes later and msnbc isn't reporting it.

Fuckkkkk. Hayes deleted that tweet, clearly he was spreading shitty news too. 1 suspect in custody according to Dallas Morning News and CNN-- no official word on the 2nd, if there is one.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:36 PM on July 7, 2016


Dallas Police Chief Brown: currently in negotiations with a suspect involved in the shootings on the 2nd floor of the El Centro Garage. He's not very cooperative and has been exchanging more gunfire. They are making plans to end the standoff. Also have a female suspect in custody. Followed Mercedes with two suspects who had camo bags and they are in custody and being interviewed as well.

Suspect in the garage has told police "the end is coming" and he will hurt and kill more law enforcement and that there are bombs all over the garage and downtown.

Still not sure they have all the suspects and will continue to search and investigate.

(source: press conference)
posted by zachlipton at 10:36 PM on July 7, 2016 [5 favorites]


the weapon was not even loaded. He wasn't there with any belief he might use a gun to kill bad guys or something.

And that is a problem for everyone! Nobody knows if YOUR gun is loaded. From what I understand, if you handle a gun you must always operate from the assumption that a gun is loaded and ready to shoot especially if the person in possession of the gun/s are brown or black.
posted by futz at 10:37 PM on July 7, 2016 [6 favorites]


Police Chief, via CNN: Currently negotiating with suspect in parking garage. Suspect shooting and being non-cooperative. Have a female in custody. Have two others in custody who fled in car.

Do not have complete comfort level that they have all the suspects. Continuing to search.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:37 PM on July 7, 2016


Oh yeah, and there was an asshole pulling his gun on BLM protesters in Portland tonight, too.
Nobody shot, thank God. And, thankfully, hauled away by the cops. But still.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 10:38 PM on July 7, 2016 [7 favorites]


Dallas Police Chief Brown: Fourth officer died in surgery. 3 Dallas PD and one DART officer dead.

Mayor: This is still an active crime scene. Determining now how big the scene will be and what to do about the downtown area tomorrow morning. They'll post online by the morning the area that will be closed and workers should avoid coming in to office buildings in that area.
posted by zachlipton at 10:39 PM on July 7, 2016


It is the assumption of the chief at this time that these four suspects were working together in this attack.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:43 PM on July 7, 2016


On a night where halfway across the country gunfire erupted at the Black Lives Matter rally in Dallas with deadly and devastating consequences, it appears Portland was spared tragedy only by chance.
Well, chance, and he was white.
posted by ctmf at 10:43 PM on July 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


Please God let them be white supremacists trying to start a race war. This is looking more and more like an act of domestic terrorism.
posted by a power-tie-wearing she-capitalist at 10:44 PM on July 7, 2016 [7 favorites]


Did he just say there were four of them or did I hear wrong?
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 10:44 PM on July 7, 2016


It is the assumption of the chief at this time that these four suspects were working together in this attack.

Holy crap
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 10:45 PM on July 7, 2016


Realize I owe three more motherfucking dots tonight

. . .
posted by zachlipton at 10:45 PM on July 7, 2016


Well, chance, and he was white.

The tragedy would've been if the guy with the gun had shot anyone.
The second he pulled that gun in that video, I stopped caring all that much about his safety.
But yeah, the double standard obviously didn't take any breaks tonight.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 10:47 PM on July 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


It is the assumption of the chief at this time that these four suspects were working together in this attack.

Holy crap


Don't set that in stone, the use of the word assumption is deliberate there. The police are understandably more focused on ending the active threat right now than working out precisely what happened. They said there will likely not be another in person press conference until the morning.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:47 PM on July 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


The suspects were in a Mercedes and followed to oak cliff.

"Mercedes" and "Oak Cliff" are kinda dog whistles for "not white" in usual Dallas language parlance so it will be interesting to see how social and news media roll with that.
posted by Annika Cicada at 10:52 PM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm already getting "thin blue line" solidarity posts on Facebook through extended family.

Same here. I think I'm gonna have to unfollow like a third of the people I know, or quit facebook, or go live with a flock of ducks for a couple months or something
posted by Vic Morrow's Personal Vietnam at 10:54 PM on July 7, 2016 [10 favorites]




Don't do that. Ducks are jerks.
posted by phearlez at 10:57 PM on July 7, 2016 [9 favorites]


I'm pretty much out of ways to say, "Stop killing us. Black lives matter." What I want to say is, "Fuck everything. Burn all this shit down." I know that's irresponsible though. I know as a scholar that I can't get in a national publication and advocate violence. I'm not advocating violence. I am advocating for every single structure built on and propagated by white supremacy to be gone. I want total transformation. I want my people to be able to live. Black rage is not irresponsible. White apathy and complicity is.

Brittany Cooper, "Black Men Are Not Lethal Weapons."
posted by TwoStride at 11:00 PM on July 7, 2016 [12 favorites]


I note that Dallas PD still hasn't taken down the tweet calling the open carry guy "one of our suspects", even though he can be seen surrendering his gun to police at about 19:30 in this video, while the shooting is happening or immediately after. That tweet continues to rack up retweets, over 38,000 right now.
posted by hades at 11:08 PM on July 7, 2016 [13 favorites]


I've been trying to process this all day between tears and trying to figure out what to say or do. I grew up next to JJ Hill, where Philandro Castile worked for years, and I'm so sorry for all the kids trying to figure out why one of their beloved caregivers was murdered by someone they're taught is supposed to protect them. We went to the same high school. I know it doesn't do any good but I'm so sorry for his family, that amazing little girl and his powerful, strong fiancé. I'm so sorry for anyone who isn't white and feels even more unsafe tonight. With everything unfolding right now I just needed to get that out. I'm just heartbroken and feeling helpless.
posted by Bacon Bit at 11:13 PM on July 7, 2016 [12 favorites]


Well, they've probably realized that it would look worse to delete it at this point. Better to let it stand as part of the record, unedited. For credibility.
posted by monopas at 11:13 PM on July 7, 2016


I realize they're busy, but since they had enough time to tweet out his picture, they have enough time to tweet out a correction.
posted by zachlipton at 11:18 PM on July 7, 2016 [4 favorites]


One thing I don't get is why doesn't the Dallas PD grab one of their military gifted MRAPs and scream up the parking garage and take out the sniper who they're still "negotiating" ie "exchanging fire" with.

OK, sniper says bombs are everywhere. I doubt there is any shortage of volunteers who would be willing to call that bluff.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 11:24 PM on July 7, 2016


Dang, in the video the officer who takes the rifle is perfectly professional. Gives him the contact information to get back in touch so he can get his gun back later. I imagine the callback after his face ended up tweeted out by the police had to be awkward. They gotta publicly clear his name as soon as possible.
posted by Drinky Die at 11:24 PM on July 7, 2016 [11 favorites]


And the police (and others) love this - it just took the narrative from "black lives matter" to "blue lives matter", and so many will buy into the latter (CNN has completely, I don't watch FOX, but imagine they have even more) and forget the former.
posted by Death and Gravity at 11:28 PM on July 7, 2016 [5 favorites]




No matter who the shooters are, the police don't love this, nobody loves this. Stop.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:41 PM on July 7, 2016 [30 favorites]


Shetamia Taylor, 37, was the one civilian shot. She was at the rally w/ her sons. She's recovering at the hospital.
posted by zachlipton at 11:41 PM on July 7, 2016 [7 favorites]


FOX4 just reported that a 5th officer has died.

.....
posted by spinifex23 at 11:46 PM on July 7, 2016


I should note re: that Periscope channel: The guy doing the filming has dropped a whole lot of pretty dodgy comments about BLM, Clinton, etc.

Dude has a good view of the neighborhood, but his viewpoints are pretty questionable.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:55 PM on July 7, 2016 [5 favorites]


Tami Carr of CBS11 in Dallas reports the man who turned himself in after his picture was released by police has now been released from police custody.
posted by Drinky Die at 11:57 PM on July 7, 2016




Obama has been briefed
posted by R.F.Simpson at 12:04 AM on July 8, 2016


Fifth officer has died according to nbcdfw.com. :(
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 12:08 AM on July 8, 2016


DART has announced that it was their Brent Thompson, a DART officer since 2009, who was killed. The other four names have not yet been released.

.
posted by zachlipton at 12:08 AM on July 8, 2016


@DallasPD confirming,
It has been a devastating night. We are sad to report a fifth officer has died.
posted by XMLicious at 12:10 AM on July 8, 2016


so there's still a suspect in the parking garage shooting at cops?
posted by sio42 at 12:10 AM on July 8, 2016


I'm not sure if he's shooting at cops, I think it's more of a standoff situation.
posted by R.F.Simpson at 12:13 AM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Fuck guns. Just ban them. This is so frustrating.
posted by adept256 at 12:14 AM on July 8, 2016 [18 favorites]


Tami Carr of CBS11 in Dallas reports the man who turned himself in after his picture was released by police has now been released from police custody.

And yet the Dallas PD twitter account still has his photo up labeling him as a suspect.
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:17 AM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


The El Centro building has been cleared but apparently two employees remain on lockdown inside the BOA
posted by R.F.Simpson at 12:17 AM on July 8, 2016


Apparently he shot himself
posted by R.F.Simpson at 12:20 AM on July 8, 2016


The AP has more on Shetamia Taylor. She was wounded in the leg after she threw herself over her four sons, ages 12-17, when she heard the shots.
posted by zachlipton at 12:24 AM on July 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


I hate rollercoasters. The feeling that you're headed for a big drop, there's no changing where it's going, you're locked in, and there's no getting off.

I'm so feeling that right now.
posted by bitmage at 12:39 AM on July 8, 2016 [5 favorites]


what the hell did i get up early for today? not this

we're either going to find a way to control and discipline police relations with minority communities or we're going to have civil insurrection, we're going to have acts of terrorism

when are the police going to develop the humility to be actual servants of the people, like they say they are?
posted by pyramid termite at 12:47 AM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


I am seeing some reports that one of the shooters has been identified as a white supremacist, or as having white supremacist connections. I can't verify it - does anyone have more information?
posted by a power-tie-wearing she-capitalist at 12:48 AM on July 8, 2016


I'm watching the CBS11 stream. They are reporting the standoff is over. There is currently no update on the condition of the suspect.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:48 AM on July 8, 2016


These three DPD tweets from earlier this evening during the Dallas protest are pretty devastating in hindsight.
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:50 AM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]




This is going to be so bad. Bad for Black Lives Matter, bad for the cause itself. It's going to amp up every single racial justice protest. What if there are retaliatory killings by pro-cop/Trump/etc paramilitary people? This is going to increase police harassment of racial justice activists. It's going to render everything scarier and more dangerous. This is so, so bad.
posted by Frowner at 2:43 AM on July 8, 2016 [53 favorites]


Yeah Frowner that was my reaction too. There's just no way this turns out to be anything but terrible for BLM and justice. I mean, maybe if the shooters turn out to actually be white supremacists, but I think the conversation has already turned from "police murdering black people" to "support the cops, they have hard jobs" judging just from Obama's speech. (And for the record, they DO have hard jobs. They also have a culture of racism, violence and no accountability.)

I keep trying to go to sleep but I feel so sick about this.
posted by threeturtles at 2:50 AM on July 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


Worth noting that it was rubber bullets and pepper spray outside the governor's mansion in St. Paul, too.

I wish I had gone - I felt so sick because I hardly slept the last couple of nights that I didn't feel like I could handle getting over there, protesting and finding my way back. I don't know, if it's still going on after work I guess I'll head over if I can get some people together.

Mefites who don't go to protests (and that's fine, I myself have been sort of hinky-feeling since the shooting at the BLM protest here) now is a great time to donate money, call your city council or mayor or governor. Please don't feel that because protests may be dangerous that there is nothing for you to do; protests are important because it's important to be visible, but they are not even remotely all of the work.
posted by Frowner at 3:05 AM on July 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


This whole episode is gut wrenching, but the immediate outpooring of grief by politicians and authorities for the police, to me, lies in stark contrast to the equivocation of their response to the deaths of so many black men.
posted by bigZLiLk at 3:08 AM on July 8, 2016 [52 favorites]


Jesus
posted by OmieWise at 3:13 AM on July 8, 2016


oh no.
posted by angrycat at 3:22 AM on July 8, 2016




Just woke up to this. Crap. So do we have any idea who these shooters were/are?
posted by octothorpe at 3:33 AM on July 8, 2016


nothing yet.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 3:37 AM on July 8, 2016


This is as much as has been confirmed (as per The Guardian)
- Three people have been detained by police: a woman who was stopped close to the garage, plus two people who were stopped in a dark Mercedes.
- An armed standoff with a fourth suspect on a second-floor parking lot close to El Centro College, ended after local reports that the suspect killed himself. The suspect was said to have fired at police and claimed to have placed bombs in the city. Police chief David Brown said: “The suspect we are negotiating with … has told our negotiators that the end is coming and he’s going to hurt and kill more of us … and that there are bombs all over the place, here and downtown.”
- No bombs have been found after two police searches. Major Max Geron of Dallas police tweeted: “Primary and secondary sweeps for explosives are complete and no explosives found.”
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:42 AM on July 8, 2016


How horrifying, sad, anger-inducing. Both the events and their aftermath.

The scariest part is that the nation seems totally unprepared to deal with upheaval. It's not hard to imagine things going totally out of control, with no leadership or institutions capable of holding things together.
posted by cell divide at 3:46 AM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


It won't be morning for a few hours yet in Texas so I wouldn't expect anything before 9am their time.
posted by sio42 at 3:50 AM on July 8, 2016


I think it's probably a good idea for us white allies not to indulge in apocalyptic predictions about what the results of last night will be.
posted by maxsparber at 3:56 AM on July 8, 2016 [19 favorites]


5:58 AM Texas time
posted by dancestoblue at 3:58 AM on July 8, 2016


probably a good idea for us white allies not to indulge in apocalyptic predictions

Eh. I mean hyperbolic speculation is rarely helpful but we're pretty much through the looking glass at this point. I think the consensus adjective for 2016 (per the Brexit thread) is omnishambles?
posted by tivalasvegas at 4:01 AM on July 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


There's a couple videos of what is alleged to be one of the shootings floating (not going to link to them), which is not a sniping, but rather a firefight. A lot of people who have seen it say it seems to be the shooter(s) seemed to be using military-style tactics, and that the sniping was similarly professionally done. I'm beginning to wonder if this was planned before the police shot Sterling and Castile.
posted by zombieflanders at 4:13 AM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


Oh, and fuck Joe Walsh. I hope he serves actual jail time for his racist threats.
posted by zombieflanders at 4:16 AM on July 8, 2016 [31 favorites]


yeah, i'd be interested to see what happens with that. what kind of threat does someone have to make against the POTUS for it to be taken seriously?
posted by sio42 at 4:29 AM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


What I'm bracing myself for in the aftermath of this shooting is the police emphasis on the danger of their jobs. It is a very safe job. On this website, 6 months or so ago, I remember someone posting a link in the comments to statistics on the steadily decreasing likelihood of being killed on the job as a police officer.

You can find articles everywhere that discuss how statistically safe it is to be a police officer. I did one hell of a lazy googling and still found plenty.

Here's an article from the Economist saying that your odds of death by armed assault are 1 in 24,000. That's not far beyond a police officer's odds of being killed. In 2008 there were 750,000 arresting officers and 140 deaths, with only 54 being intentional. I don't know if this is the wrong way to come to this number, but if you divide 750,000 over 54, you get 14,000. Looking back at the Economist's chart, you're almost twice as likely to kill yourself. If you look here You can see how many other jobs are significantly more dangerous than policing.

Crime is at a historical low, too! There are no excuses for what police officers do. Society should malign and shame those who take part in these government-sanctioned hit squads. They're cruel authorities who have become too comfortable.
posted by constantinescharity at 4:47 AM on July 8, 2016 [14 favorites]


Confirmation that the "fourth suspect" (the one who was in the armed standoff) has died.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:51 AM on July 8, 2016


Is there a word yet for the time spent waiting after news of another gut-wrenching murder spree? Waiting for the identities of the actors to be unveiled so everyone can come out of their corners punching? There ought to be a word.
posted by Andrew Galarneau at 4:54 AM on July 8, 2016 [9 favorites]




From The Guardian:
Mayor Rawlings is on CNN. He confirms that a suspect was “taken out” by a police explosive device in the garage.
Rawlings said he could not disclose the race of the dead suspect. He confirmed that the female suspect is a “light skinned African American”.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 5:03 AM on July 8, 2016


No bombs have been found after two police searches. Major Max Geron of Dallas police tweeted: “Primary and secondary sweeps for explosives are complete and no explosives found.

I'm glad none have been found, but Dallas is a big place. This seems kind of premature.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 5:03 AM on July 8, 2016


I don't really get the lawyers response. Yeah, open carry is legal. I understand that. But if you're open carrying and shooting starts, you are likely to be treated as suspicious. I know Hughes was in a lot of danger after his picture was released, but people were getting shot and killed. It was a dangerous situation all around.
posted by OmieWise at 5:05 AM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


Rawlings said he could not disclose the race of the dead suspect. He confirmed that the female suspect is a “light skinned African American”.

jesus please no.
posted by sio42 at 5:05 AM on July 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


Police band audio taken from just before Castile was shot (unverified by police, but Castile's license plate is explicitly identified) indicates that he may not have been pulled over for a tail light, but because officers decided his appearance was consistent with a robbery suspect. That appearance? A "wide-set nose."
posted by maxsparber at 5:06 AM on July 8, 2016 [25 favorites]


fuck me. that is bullshit. how the fuck do you even see that in a car.
posted by sio42 at 5:07 AM on July 8, 2016 [8 favorites]


light skinned African American

Clearly they haven't revealed why this person is a suspect, is it possible this individual isn't actually involved just as their previous suspect wasn't involved? And how long until the info is actually released?
posted by JakeEXTREME at 5:15 AM on July 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


I mean, it's just a fairly common African-American facial feature. Pulling him over for that is like pulling him over because he and the suspect both have brown eyes.
posted by maxsparber at 5:16 AM on July 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


or brown... skin?
posted by entropicamericana at 5:19 AM on July 8, 2016 [14 favorites]


This is Dallas, this is our city, and we don't let terrorism win: It's sickening, cowardly. It furthers no cause; it accomplishes nothing but misery and grief. It's violence for the deranged love of violence itself, disguised beneath a political veneer.

To employ a Texas colloquialism, it's chickens**t with a gun.

posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:22 AM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


Is there a word yet for the time spent waiting after news of another gut-wrenching murder spree? Waiting for the identities of the actors to be unveiled so everyone can come out of their corners punching? There ought to be a word.

The Germans would have one, except they have effective gun control laws.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:23 AM on July 8, 2016 [34 favorites]


fuck me. that is bullshit. how the fuck do you even see that in a car.

the problem is that the police are supermen only part of the time - they can see a busted taillight in traffic - they can see the shape of a guy's nose from many feet away - but they can't see the difference between a gun and a wallet when they're right up close

weird how that works
posted by pyramid termite at 5:26 AM on July 8, 2016 [74 favorites]


It looks like Dallas was a city where the police department was actually making an honest effort to improve. Could any Dallas MeFites give us more background?
posted by zombieflanders at 5:28 AM on July 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


Here's more from Radley Balko, who is usually one of the last people to give kudos to the police.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:31 AM on July 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


Dallas Police Chief speaking now, saying that the robot/bomb killed the suspect, and that it was not suicide.

Suspect said he was upset about Black Lives Matter and the police shootings, and that he wanted to kill white people.

Fuck.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:41 AM on July 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


“We’re not going to tell you anything about the suspects and we’re not going to answer any question on that,” said Mayor Mike Rawlings.
(Source: The Guardian)
posted by EndsOfInvention at 5:49 AM on July 8, 2016


I don't really understand the point of that. "We won't tell you anything about the demographics of the suspects... but they totally hated white people."
posted by Roommate at 5:53 AM on July 8, 2016 [19 favorites]


Yeah, they're handing over inflammatory information about the suspect, but not anything that might humanize them.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 5:54 AM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


The mayor should probably inform his chief of police to stop saying it was black people then
posted by tivalasvegas at 5:54 AM on July 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


they used a robot

to kill someone

Not tase. Not gas.
posted by rebent at 5:57 AM on July 8, 2016 [21 favorites]


If you know completely that this person was shooting at cops then why would you not reveal any actual information? What is the point in that?
posted by JakeEXTREME at 6:00 AM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


This is Dallas, this is our city, and we don't let terrorism win

Yeah I popped over to the Dallas Morning News overnight in the hope that it might have some recently sourced local reporting. Saw that their website had basically been taken over by their white columnists' hot takes and noped the fuck right out.
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:00 AM on July 8, 2016 [5 favorites]


What sad news to wake up to.

If you know completely that this person was shooting at cops then why would you not reveal any actual information? What is the point in that?

Most charitably, perhaps because releasing more information immediately could interfere with finding accomplices or making arrests?
posted by Dip Flash at 6:02 AM on July 8, 2016


Meanwhile, in Fresno...

Fuck 2016, what a shit show of a year.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:03 AM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


they used a robot

to kill someone

Not tase. Not gas.


We've been doing it overseas for ten years. This is merely onshoring the postindustrial mechanism of global white supremacy.
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:04 AM on July 8, 2016 [25 favorites]


Less charitably, the police in general have a habit of releasing (officially or via well-coordinated "leaks") information that paints their actions in the best possible light. They know as well as anyone that if you put your story out there first, that becomes the narrative, and it's almost impossible to truly correct factual inaccuracies caused by lack of context in the early reporting after the fact.
posted by tocts at 6:09 AM on July 8, 2016 [12 favorites]


Not sure how charitable I can be, I mean they released the photo of the other guy without hesitation.
posted by JakeEXTREME at 6:11 AM on July 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


hang on a minute, when a govenment robot is sent to kill an American citizen on American soil what is the legally responsible...

fuck. Pandora, here is a nice box hope you like it!
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:13 AM on July 8, 2016 [6 favorites]




well i'm sure the focus is going to stay on sterling and castile in the coming days and weeks
posted by entropicamericana at 6:14 AM on July 8, 2016 [16 favorites]


Can someone explain the robot thing? He was accidentally killed by some sort of bomb-disarming robot? Was he killed on purpose by a drone? Will there be bodycam or surveillance video if he was killed on purpose? It seems crazy to kill someone you've been negotiating with for hours (unless there were hostages, I guess, but there's been no mention of hostages).
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 6:23 AM on July 8, 2016


The shooter told police hostage negotiators he wanted to “kill officers” and “kill white people especially white officers”
The suspect was killed with a Dallas police bomb robot, which was sent in after negotiations broke down
(Source: The Guardian)
posted by EndsOfInvention at 6:24 AM on July 8, 2016


So the robot delivered a bomb?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 6:26 AM on July 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


Negotiations only work if both side want to negotiate.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:26 AM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm seeing very limited information on how the attacker in question was killed - only one or two places cite the use of a 'robot', others say he was 'blasted out'. It's also unclear if he was still in the process of shooting, or if the 'explosive' was meant to kill or merely to stun.

This has been a really tragic week, and the speculation and attribution of motives on both sides is just depressing. I think it would be nice if people could just wait for more information before accusing DPD of starting a domestic drone strike program. Just as I wish people elsewhere would stop accusing BLM of inciting a domestic terror plot before anything about the attackers is known.
posted by the_querulous_night at 6:26 AM on July 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


(Sorry, maybe these "bomb robots" are things everyone else has and knows about, but I'm confused...I know about robots that disarm bombs, but I don't see how those could kill people unless there was a bomb and a mistake in the disarming).
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 6:27 AM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


The shooter told police hostage negotiators he wanted to “kill officers” and “kill white people especially white officers”

Is it just me or does this sound like every apocryphal right-wing newsletter story about how black people are going to kill all the white people?
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 6:27 AM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


Or is a bomb robot just supposed to deliver one of those light and sound bombs that surprises people while cops move in but then this one accidentally killed him?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 6:28 AM on July 8, 2016


The suspect that was killed after a standoff with Dallas police was killed by a bomb that authorities detonated, Dallas Police Chief David Brown says. "We saw no other option but to use our bomb robot and place a device on its extension for it to detonate where the suspect was. Other options would have exposed our officers to grave danger. The suspect is deceased as a result of detonating the bomb."
from CNN
posted by Roommate at 6:28 AM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


Is it just me or does this sound like every apocryphal right-wing newsletter story about how black people are going to kill all the white people?

Never read an of those newsletters. What concerns me is that it doesn't sound like imminent threat of death or serious injury.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 6:29 AM on July 8, 2016


Chief: Dallas Shooting Suspect Killed When Police Robot Detonated Bomb:
"We saw no other option but to use our bomb robot and place a device on its extension for it to detonate where the suspect was. Other options would have exposed the officers to grave danger,"
omfg.
posted by fatbird at 6:30 AM on July 8, 2016 [14 favorites]


Wow.

.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 6:31 AM on July 8, 2016


"We saw no other option but to use our bomb robot and place a device on its extension for it to detonate where the suspect was. Other options would have exposed our officers to grave danger.

I'm strugging not to see this as pretty much stating they executed the suspect via a bomb when, by their own telling, no officer was in danger.
posted by jaduncan at 6:31 AM on July 8, 2016 [59 favorites]


Chief Brown made the above statement on camera, btw
posted by XMLicious at 6:31 AM on July 8, 2016


Even in that statement it is unclear whether this was a bomb that the suspect had or... like a bomb the police had on hand? I mean I don't feel much sympathy for the shooter but is that something we even let police do is drone strike people now?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:31 AM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


who could have possibly predicted that drone warfare would eventually be used domestically
posted by entropicamericana at 6:32 AM on July 8, 2016 [35 favorites]


"We saw no other option..."

We had to kill the black person. They made us do it

Simply stunning even by the standards of the last six months.
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:34 AM on July 8, 2016 [19 favorites]


Ugh, my mind is completely unfocused with the shock of these 3 events. Saddened that some individual(s) chose to hijack what was by all reports a very peaceful and inspiring protest where BLM activists and Dallas PD were treating each other with respect and dignity. Saddened that someone chose to insert violence into the lives of both the officers and and protesters.

I am alarmed that an explosive device was used to neutralize this suspect. I understand that the situation was extremely dangerous and the officer in charge must've determined that there was no effective way to neutralize the suspect in a non-lethal manner without exposing officers to further risk but it does seem like a virtually unprecedented strategy for neutralizing a subject.

The number of questions this event raises are massive and yes I am afraid that it will eclipse the senseless deaths of Castile and Sterling.
posted by vuron at 6:34 AM on July 8, 2016 [9 favorites]


I think it's pretty clear it was the police's own bomb ("device") that they placed on their "bomb robot" to "detonate where the suspect was".
posted by Roommate at 6:34 AM on July 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


Yeah, it's pretty easy to do Monday morning quarterbacking at this point. Admittedly the situation and use of a bomb sounds odd, but maybe we can lay off deciding whether it was the right or wrong move until more facts come in.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:35 AM on July 8, 2016 [17 favorites]


Fox News is unsurprisingly saying the cops detonated the shooter's device.
posted by agregoli at 6:37 AM on July 8, 2016


The whole thing is odd. 12 hours and nothing on the identities, or am I missing something?
posted by mikelieman at 6:37 AM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


yeah, it's odd that more facts aren't coming in. how do you identify 100% the wrong dude, not really retract it, blow someone up by robot bomb, and not give the public his identity?
posted by nadawi at 6:38 AM on July 8, 2016 [13 favorites]


I'm torn. On the one hand, yes. It's fairer and better to reserve judgement until we can get more facts.

On the other hand the police are not reserving judgement or getting all the facts before they kill us. So. I dunno.
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:38 AM on July 8, 2016 [20 favorites]


Too bad the shooter didn’t livestream the negotiations so that we would know what was actually said. For example: was this person warned that detonation was imminent?
posted by a fiendish thingy at 6:39 AM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


NPR reported that the dead gunman claimed he was acting alone.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:39 AM on July 8, 2016


The only vaguely coherent thought I can frame at present is Jesus fuck, could we maybe just get through like 24 or 12 hours without more executions or other devastating horrifying shit happening, just so we can catch our fucking breaths, please?
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:40 AM on July 8, 2016 [8 favorites]


Yeah, I think waiting for more information and being skeptical about the police spin on it is important.

At the same time, one thing we here on metafilter can do is keep the focus on the state, state racism, the blocking of channels of justice for Black people (and for other marginalized Americans). The only legitimate purpose for the state is to do a better job than just anyone on the street in providing for the people, and that is not happening right now.
posted by Frowner at 6:40 AM on July 8, 2016 [9 favorites]


I agree that it's unclear what type of explosive device was used to neutralize the suspect. You would assume that some sort of non-lethal explosive device like a flashbang or a tear gas grenade could also be used to neutralize or flush a target from the location.

In theory I guess it's possible that the suspect had some explosive devices that were triggered by a non-lethal explosive device but we are simply guessing at this point.

It does seem like a very unusual tactical choice and was almost certainly based upon a fear that the suspect had explosive devices because otherwise SWAT in heavy body armor and ballistic shields probably could've been used.
posted by vuron at 6:41 AM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm not falling for the "but we use drones elsewhere now you're whining about it when it's here" derail. What appears to have happened here is absolute lunacy.
posted by odinsdream at 6:42 AM on July 8, 2016 [7 favorites]


NPR reported that the dead gunman claimed he was acting alone.

Please don't post things you hear on the radio without a link. There's no evidence of anyone saying this online that I can find.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:44 AM on July 8, 2016


is the phrase 'neutralize the suspect' necessary? we don't have to repeat their obscuring terminology.
posted by nadawi at 6:44 AM on July 8, 2016 [22 favorites]


In theory I guess it's possible that the suspect had some explosive devices that were triggered by a non-lethal explosive device but we are simply guessing at this point.

Alternatively, they strapped a claymore to Johnny-5, and set him loose...
posted by mikelieman at 6:44 AM on July 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


OK here it is from the Atlantic on the press conference:

"“He was upset about Black Lives Matter,” Brown said of the suspect. “He was upset about” the shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota. He said “he wanted to kill white people, especially white officers.”

Brown said the suspect said he wasn’t affiliated with any group and was acting alone. “The suspects said other things that are part oft his investigation,” he said."
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:45 AM on July 8, 2016


Police dropped a bomb on the MOVE house on Philadelphia in 1978, so this isn't without precedent. Terrible, terrible precedent.
posted by maxsparber at 6:45 AM on July 8, 2016 [23 favorites]


The NY Post (again, not linking because fuck them) is headlining this as "Civil War." People are going to die because of that, and may the blood be on their hands.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:46 AM on July 8, 2016 [9 favorites]


"“He was upset about Black Lives Matter,” Brown said of the suspect. “He was upset about” the shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota. He said “he wanted to kill white people, especially white officers.”

Brown said the suspect said he wasn’t affiliated with any group and was acting alone. “The suspects said other things that are part oft his investigation,” he said."


Translation: I will disclose things that are extremely favorable for our side of things, which I perhaps just pulled out of my ass, and keep the actual facts super secret.
posted by odinsdream at 6:47 AM on July 8, 2016 [10 favorites]


It's almost certain that the only people who heard him say these things are police officers, so excuse me if I don't give them the benefit of the doubt. I hope somewhere there is video, or the shooter left a note, so we don't have to forever just take their word for it.
posted by AFABulous at 6:50 AM on July 8, 2016 [27 favorites]


Translation: I will disclose things that are extremely favorable for our side of things, which I perhaps just pulled out of my ass, and keep the actual facts super secret.

What about the quoted section from the police is "extremely favorable" to them? I'm honestly confused. Because I assume that someone who shoots up a bunch of cops wants the cops dead.
posted by OmieWise at 6:52 AM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]




It's unclear that the police have many more facts than the rest of us. They have a dead suspect who apparently made a bunch of contradictory statements before negotiations completely broke down. They have some other suspects in custody but it's unclear if they are linked or not.

At this point it's impossible to determine if this was a lone gunman or a group of gunmen. Eye witness testimony in these sorts of events is hideously unreliable and with a crowded loud environment with lots of buildings for echoes to bounce off it's going to be hard to determine exactly what went on until as much video evidence as possible is reviewed.

I wish that the police chief was more circumspect about discussing any of the statements made by the suspect until more detail is known.
posted by vuron at 6:54 AM on July 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'll retain a healthy skepticism of media, politicians and police as always, but five people were just killed, more people injured including two civilians. I'm finding the knee jerk need to rationalize a defense for a mass murderer really gross.
posted by the_querulous_night at 6:55 AM on July 8, 2016 [18 favorites]


Yeah, at the moment, I'm not blaming the cops for killing someone who seemingly refused to surrender, had already killed several cops and was promising to shoot more. That opinion may change once more facts are known, but at the moment it seems understandable, if regrettable.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:55 AM on July 8, 2016 [24 favorites]


While I agree the quotes about killing white officers seem cherry-picked, the quote about the suspect not being affiliated with any group doesn't fit the presumed police narrative. Neither does this. Despite the many instances of police creating and encouraging disgusting narratives of POC violence, I don't see how the DPD statements can be read as being anti-BLM, especially given the DPD's fairly cozy relationship (comparatively) with BLM
posted by R.F.Simpson at 6:56 AM on July 8, 2016 [5 favorites]


Full, complete, total, open transparency is what I expect from people paid with our tax dollars.

The police have a a fact, present it without spin to everyone. It's what I'm paying for.
posted by mikelieman at 6:57 AM on July 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


I don't think it's helpful to frame this mass shooting as an "us vs them" matter, because that implicitly makes BLM responsible for this tragedy. This is a mass shooting, we should be discussing it in the same context as Orlando and any number of other massacres.
posted by Think_Long at 6:57 AM on July 8, 2016 [5 favorites]


who is defending the shooter? you can condemn the shooter and still think the way information has been released is sketchy as hell (and not even consistent with what they did a a couple of hours before) or think bomb robots are a step further than we'd like our civilian police forces to go, no matter the circumstance.
posted by nadawi at 6:57 AM on July 8, 2016 [27 favorites]


What about the quoted section from the police is "extremely favorable" to them?

The narrative that police are under attack and in constant justifiable fear for their lives serves to excuse (in many people's minds) virtually any action by the police. See the two shootings of the last couple of days and "He's got a gun!"
posted by Etrigan at 6:58 AM on July 8, 2016 [10 favorites]



Dallas Police Officers Killed By Snipers: What We Know Friday
(NPR, July 8, 20168:15 AM ET)
A coordinated sniper attack in Dallas killed five police officers Thursday, in a bout of violence that didn't end until the last of at least two snipers who had fired on police died in a parking garage. Police say at least four people were involved in the attack and that they have three suspects in custody.

In addition to the five officers who were slain, seven were wounded in the attack that began just before 9 p.m. local time, at the end of a downtown protest march that was held to condemn two police killings of black men in other cities earlier this week.
...
Police have three suspects, including one woman, in custody; another suspect died after an hours-long standoff with police at a parking garage at El Centro College in downtown Dallas.

Police Chief David Brown said the suspect told negotiators "the end was coming," that he's "going to hurt and kill more" law enforcement, and that there were bombs planted all over the garage and downtown.

Just before dawn Friday, police said their sweeps for explosives had turned up no such devices.
Police are witholding more information as their investigation is ongoing.
posted by filthy light thief at 6:58 AM on July 8, 2016


...appears that they can't confirm whether he's actually with the police, or a wannabe-officer nut. Still obviously I hope they find out and bring him in for questioning.
posted by odinsdream at 6:59 AM on July 8, 2016


It's an active investigation, I'd be much angrier if they were releasing every scrap of evidence as they went with no context or critical assessment. They can't get a fully 12 hours of investigation in without accusations of a cover up being thrown about?
posted by the_querulous_night at 7:00 AM on July 8, 2016 [13 favorites]


I feel like they aren't telling because for the following speculated reasons:

1) suspects are military
Or
2)one or more of the suspects is white.

The lack of reporting demographics or mentioning the color of the suspects has me suspicious.

I don't trust police. If there was nothing to say they would have filled it with bullshit facts.
posted by AlexiaSky at 7:02 AM on July 8, 2016 [16 favorites]


when this is still up but they won't identify the actual suspects, yeah, i'm gonna say something is odd. that man's picture should have been removed immediately with an apology.
posted by nadawi at 7:03 AM on July 8, 2016 [21 favorites]


The narrative that "this is 100% the fault of Black Lives Matter and Obama because they made people not like the police" is already being shouted in places like the National Review comments section. It's going to be a bad summer. It already is a bad summer.
posted by clawsoon at 7:04 AM on July 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


They had to kill the shooter because he said he wanted to "kill white people/ the police."
So, you have to kill him.
See.
So they used a bomb, actually carried a bomb to him on a robot, to kill him.
They couldn't have waited, tried to talk him into surrendering.
posted by From Bklyn at 7:07 AM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


we all know hateful things are being said in terrible places comment sections. it's not necessary to post it here.
posted by nadawi at 7:08 AM on July 8, 2016 [25 favorites]


Releasing information into the wild at this point would be extremely problematic (see the completely unaffiliated protester who was doing open carry at the protest).

I would rather the police move slowly before releasing the name of the deceased suspect or the other 3 suspects. It's easy to introduce prejudicial and incorrect information but very very hard to put incorrect information back into the bottle.

Considering the mistake made considering the open carry protester I would definitely prefer the DPD to act in a cautious manner and I am a bit saddened by the DPD police chief providing as many anecdotes as he did.

This is a situation that could've ended in an even more tragic way for a lot of people at the scene, I'm not sure that the DPD response was the best one possible but I'm also not going to presuppose bad intent this early.
posted by vuron at 7:08 AM on July 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


Trump's statement on the shootings, which is... not terrible, considering the source. He calls Castile's and Sterling's deaths "senseless and tragic."
posted by AFABulous at 7:11 AM on July 8, 2016


And now a Kansas City police officer is apparently sending death threats to black children and their parents.

The guy works for Overland Park, KS. They just issued a statement. I don't think they're pleased.
posted by thelonius at 7:11 AM on July 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


He calls Castile's and Sterling's deaths "senseless and tragic."

He also calls them "motorists," which is weirdly evasive.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:12 AM on July 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


the LA times has tweeted a name of the suspect, but maybe holding off a little bit before assuming it's right seems the best course?
posted by Annika Cicada at 7:12 AM on July 8, 2016


"Full, complete, total, open transparency is what I expect from people paid with our tax dollars.

The police have a a fact, present it without spin to everyone. It's what I'm paying for."


DPD Chief: Yes, so we just received a tip that there are suspects hiding at 97145 Dartridge Drive and the SWAT team is preparing to go there and raid that address... they should be there in about 20-25 minutes, again it's 97145 Dartridge Drive, that's the address we have and we're going to be there in about 25 minutes.
posted by gertzedek at 7:12 AM on July 8, 2016 [7 favorites]


if they're suddenly being so circumspect, why is the protester's picture still up? anyone who goes to the dallas pd twitter page and scrolls down, sees that man with suspect next to his picture. how can they have it both ways? 'well terrible mistakes were made in publishing a totally innocent but 'person of interest' picture, so we aren't going to tell you who the suspects we killed are - we're totes sure they're the right people trust us - but we're also not going to remove the picture of the guy we know is innocent.' like - that makes no sense.
posted by nadawi at 7:12 AM on July 8, 2016 [20 favorites]


If they don't want to release pictures and names yet, that's ok. But the fact we haven't gotten the basic demographic from them bothers me. For example 'mid 50s white male with prior violence history' or whatnot has me concerned.

They haven't even released that for the deceased suspect.
posted by AlexiaSky at 7:14 AM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


if they're suddenly being so circumspect, why is the protester's picture still up?

Maybe there are public record laws that apply here?
posted by gertzedek at 7:15 AM on July 8, 2016


There may be internal processes governing when and how social media messages are deleted, at the very least a pinned correction would be nice though.
posted by Annika Cicada at 7:15 AM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


The narrative that police are under attack and in constant justifiable fear for their lives serves to excuse (in many people's minds) virtually any action by the police.

Yeah, I'm not seeing that at all. The rhetorical force of saying the guy said he wants to kill police is a hell of a lot less that the rhetorical force of him, actually, shooting and killing police. I understand the generalized frustration and suspicion, but given the facts, I think it's a real stretch to read the statements about what the suspect said as somehow providing cover for the cops. Just to reiterate, the guy killed a bunch of cops.
posted by OmieWise at 7:15 AM on July 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


I mean, they are putting that guy's life at risk if his picture is left up on the twitter.
posted by Frowner at 7:15 AM on July 8, 2016 [17 favorites]


Of course, it's possible that they had the wrong guy, and he didn't kill any cops. In which case the statements are cover. But that doesn't seem to be what people are suggesting.
posted by OmieWise at 7:17 AM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


The first guy's picture needs to come down, absolutely.

If they are not sure they have all the people involved, it makes sense for them to be circumspect. It really is very early.

This particular PD has been reaching out to BLM, which makes this shooting even more of a sick joke.

Can we not with the JFK thing, c'mon ya'll.

I too would like more details on what happened with the suspect's bomb and the robot. It sounds like a possible cock-up; like the robot was supposed to disarm it but detonated it. Or the negotiator absolutely failed and ordered it to happen.

(I do not believe the DPD has bomb-laden robots, just the regular old suspicious-package-detonating kind).
posted by emjaybee at 7:17 AM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


They likely published his picture because they thought he was a suspect and nobody communicated up to the top that he had already been in contact with police. If you think someone might be a danger, you put out their picture so the public can help identify them. There is not an immediate danger in waiting to release information about suspects that are dead or in custody. They are going to want to do things like contact next of kin first for the dead suspect.

I have no idea why they haven't taken down the picture yet though.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:18 AM on July 8, 2016


I would definitely urge people to contact the DPD and request that they retract the tweet concerning the protester that was considered a person of interest. Hopefully the DPD has Public Relations officers and/or a department that can delete (or preferably retract the tweet with an explanation that the individual is no longer a person of interest).

I do not want them to compound one mistake with another series of mistakes. I am curious to find out more about the situation too but I also don't want anyone being unfairly linked to these crimes prior to determining the extent and if there are any co conspirators that haven't been apprehended yet.
posted by vuron at 7:19 AM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


DPD has been begged since the moment they put that picture up and it was found to be total bullshit to take it down. they aren't listening.
posted by nadawi at 7:20 AM on July 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


He also calls them "motorists," which is weirdly evasive.

Surely not harking back to the days of The Negro Motorist Green Book. I mean, that is surely not where his frame of reference is anchored, right?
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:21 AM on July 8, 2016


No it's just trump using all those best words he knows.
posted by Annika Cicada at 7:23 AM on July 8, 2016 [9 favorites]


Yeah, at the moment, I'm not blaming the cops for killing someone who seemingly refused to surrender, had already killed several cops and was promising to shoot more. That opinion may change once more facts are known, but at the moment it seems understandable, if regrettable.

Upthread, before the Dallas shootings, there was lots of talk about how imminent danger needs to be the standard for use of lethal force. Refusing to surrender, having killed cops, and threatening to kill more (without immediate means to do so) is not imminent threat. Having bombs around would be imminent threat, but not a threat that's diffused by killing him.

So maybe there was something else that was an imminent threat that we don't know about, but I don't see much reason to give the benefit of the doubt and assume there was.

This is not a justification of what the man did. I just don't believe in capital punishment, and summary execution least of all.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 7:24 AM on July 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


If DPD are being non-responsive then contact the people that they report to.

Dallas Mayor
Dallas City Council
Dallas City Manager

We exist in a democracy and we can make out voices heard.
posted by vuron at 7:25 AM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


This particular PD has been reaching out to BLM, which makes this shooting even more of a sick joke.

That's what's weird. It looks like the Dallas PD should be considered, if not a model, at least an example of trying to do right by the people they claim to protect. Last year the mayor said that he was more afraid of white men with guns than Syrian refugees, which is not only the truth, but a powerful thing to say in a state and city with a long history of right-wing support for bigoted violence. Without a solid factual reason (legal or otherwise) behind keeping the tweet up, it seems like throwing away a lot of good will and outreach of exactly the kind we need right now.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:27 AM on July 8, 2016 [24 favorites]


To be fair: the police department is down 10 officers who everyone in the department knew. There are suspects in custody with enough tactical knowledge to pull something like this off. The press is bugging the shit out of them. The twitter feed is not likely on their lists of prioroties.

It's a stupid mistake, but a crisis mode mistake.
posted by AlexiaSky at 7:27 AM on July 8, 2016 [26 favorites]


The pic is pretty far down their Twitter feed but I sent a complaint just now asking them to take it down for his safety.
posted by emjaybee at 7:27 AM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


This is not a justification of what the man did. I just don't believe in capital punishment, and summary execution least of all.

At this point, I understand the DPD's unwillingness to risk the lives of more officers to put the shooter down. That understanding may change once more facts are known.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:28 AM on July 8, 2016 [5 favorites]


...and what harm comes from simply waiting it out until the suspect gives up?
posted by idb at 7:30 AM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


the innocent man has been all over print and television news discussing how he's been cleared. the dpd and their higher ups know the picture is still there. they're not removing it for...reasons, but they're also not discussing those reasons or even just verbally retracting it 'he is not a suspect. our teams miscommunicated with each other and this is our mistake.' but they're not doing that. his picture being up still puts him in danger.
posted by nadawi at 7:30 AM on July 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


But the fact we haven't gotten the basic demographic from them bothers me.

If the suspect is a black male, I particularly appreciate that they are keeping this fact under wraps til they verify his affiliations, accomplices, and prior history rather than making a very volatile situation between police everywhere and protestors even more fraught.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:31 AM on July 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


...and what harm comes from simply waiting it out until the suspect gives up?

They were down 10+ officers, in a situation where they had no idea how many other suspects/terrorists were out there.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:31 AM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


DPD Chief: Yes, so we just received a tip that there are suspects hiding at 97145 Dartridge Drive and the SWAT team is preparing to go there and raid that address... they should be there in about 20-25 minutes, again it's 97145 Dartridge Drive, that's the address we have and we're going to be there in about 25 minutes.

That's a fine reductio there, but you know, when a suspect is blown up by the police there really isn't a whole lot of tactical-stuff left regarding him, is there?
posted by mikelieman at 7:31 AM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


Meanwhile, back in Minneapolis: Facebook ‘glitch’ that deleted the Philando Castile shooting vid: It was the police – sources
On Thursday, Facebook said a “technical glitch" caused the recording to be pulled from its social network. However, Reynolds claimed officers seized her phone and took over her Facebook account to delete the evidence.

Multiple sources with knowledge of the event have tonight confirmed to The Register that someone – highly suspected to be the city's police – used her phone to remove her recording from public view shortly after the shooting.

That move prevented anyone from sharing and watching the vid, until the material was restored about an hour later with a graphic content warning. In the meantime, copies of the footage spread across Twitter and YouTube.

“They took my phone. They took over my Facebook. They took everything I had at the time,” said Reynolds in an emotional press conference after she was arrested by police.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:32 AM on July 8, 2016 [58 favorites]


The rhetorical force of saying the guy said he wants to kill police is a hell of a lot less that the rhetorical force of him, actually, shooting and killing police.

And yet, the police chief chooses to emphasize that he was out to kill cops while specifically refusing to release other information. Why was it so important to get that out there in the first 12 hours? I'm sure it wasn't a conscious choice by the chief -- he didn't say to himself, "Okay, how can I advance the 'cops are under attack' narrative?" -- but it's definitely part and parcel of that belief (that we've heard from people on this very website).
posted by Etrigan at 7:32 AM on July 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


What in the fuck is msnbc doing? They overlaid the police chief announcing the suspect's discussions with police, with some kind of choral music like it was a movie. Uh, I really just want the information, not some kind of weird vine you're trying to make.
posted by cashman at 7:32 AM on July 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


new york times :
“I just got out of an interrogation room for about 30 minutes, where police officers were lying, saying they had video of me shooting a gun, which is a lie, saying that they had witnesses saying I had shot a gun, which is a lie,” he said. “At the end of the day, the system was trying to get me.”

Mr. Hughes said he had not received an apology: “We asked them, we said, now you all have my face on national news, are you going to come out and say this young man had nothing to do with this?”

Mr. Hughes said his brother had received death threats.
posted by nadawi at 7:33 AM on July 8, 2016 [50 favorites]


...and what harm comes from simply waiting it out until the suspect gives up?

All the facts aren't in, so I don't know. What we do know if that shot ten cops and wasn't surrendering, so the police being unwilling to risk more lives to kill him and thus completely prevent him from doing any more harm is understandable, at this point.

That's a fine reductio there, but you know, when a suspect is blown up by the police there really isn't a whole lot of tactical-stuff left regarding him, is there?

Neither you or I have any idea of the state of the body or the scene, so please stop commenting as if you do.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:34 AM on July 8, 2016 [8 favorites]


At the same time, one thing we here on metafilter can do is keep the focus on the state, state racism, the blocking of channels of justice for Black people (and for other marginalized Americans). The only legitimate purpose for the state is to do a better job than just anyone on the street in providing for the people, and that is not happening right now.

The Right has Think Tanks...The Left has? Southern Poverty Law Center, NAACP, ACLU, but I think we need a Think Tank that researches, publishes, and crafts legislation. Is there anything like that? I know that a National Task Force may be proposed but those things always end with a lot of recommendations that don't get followed up on. BLM is a starting point but the message needs to resonate with everyone. There needs to be ads. There needs to be documentaries and speeches and books and art and movies and music. Aside from controlling the message there needs to be some drastic changes in how the local police operate in America and that will only change at a community level.

What happens if we disarm the police?
What happens if more women and more POC are recruited into the Police Force?
What about changes to the training protocols?
What can we learn from Police Forces around the world?

One thing that must absolutely stop is the militarization of our Police Forces. Less weaponry, more training.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:35 AM on July 8, 2016 [15 favorites]


A very moving reflection by Stacia Brown: For Alton. For Philando. For All.
posted by EvaDestruction at 7:36 AM on July 8, 2016


The cops were under attack but unlike your local supermarket or, say, firemen - the police should be trained to handle situations where they are under attack.

That is, being under attack is part of the job description.

I'm beginning to suspect the root problem, behind all the senseless killing the police have been engaged in for the last couple years, has to do with bad training.

That is, cops are trained to be fearful and suspicious and ready to shoot.
posted by From Bklyn at 7:37 AM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


I feel like a crazy situation where the cops have no idea whether there are other suspects or bombs or where any of those things might be is a great time to try to take a suspect alive rather than blowing him up with Johnny-5 and destroying whatever helpful knowledge he may have.
posted by beerperson at 7:37 AM on July 8, 2016 [31 favorites]


I'm with the secret life of gravy.
posted by From Bklyn at 7:38 AM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


That is, being under attack is part of the job description.

That's just the thing, though. It's not. The police are rarely, very very rarely, under attack. They're used to being the ones doing the attacking, and so it's no surprise that they have no idea how to handle any situation where they have to be on the defensive. We see this time and time again. If you put a cop on his guard, you're dead.
posted by dis_integration at 7:39 AM on July 8, 2016 [16 favorites]


I'm beginning to suspect the root problem, behind all the senseless killing the police have been engaged in for the last couple years, has to do with bad training.

FBI's warning of white supremacists infiltrating law enforcement nearly forgotten
posted by enn at 7:43 AM on July 8, 2016 [38 favorites]


The Right has Think Tanks...The Left has? Southern Poverty Law Center, NAACP, ACLU, but I think we need a Think Tank that researches, publishes, and crafts legislation. Is there anything like that?

Yes. State Innovation Exchange (merging of former organizations ALICE and Progressive States Network in 2014 -- the PSN was originally founded as an answer to ALEC.) Also, the TCF: The Century Foundation
posted by zarq at 7:46 AM on July 8, 2016 [5 favorites]




Regardless of who the shooter was or what he hoped to achieve, all that will come out of this is the "bad apples" will feel even more justified in using force against black people, and there will be less political will to rein them in.

Just garbage, everything about this is garbage.
posted by tobascodagama at 7:49 AM on July 8, 2016 [7 favorites]


That's just the thing, though. It's not. The police are rarely, very very rarely, under attack. They're used to being the ones doing the attacking, and so it's no surprise that they have no idea how to handle any situation where they have to be on the defensive. We see this time and time again. If you put a cop on his guard, you're dead.

Exactly. Police departments and officers like to fantasize that they're military organizations and swathe themselves in the applicable costumes and weapons and trappings, but they have nowhere remotely near that level of discipline or training. Which is not at all to say that military units themselves are necessarily models of rational action and grace under fire either, but at least they make a basic effort to train and drill and prepare soldiers not to routinely lose their fucking marbles in any random tense or volatile interaction with civilians.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:51 AM on July 8, 2016 [9 favorites]


Exactly. Police departments and officers like to fantasize that they're military organizations and swathe themselves in the applicable costumes and weapons and trappings, but they have nowhere remotely near that level of discipline or training.

DPD has said several times this morning they will not militarize because of this.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:52 AM on July 8, 2016 [13 favorites]


Even if DPD is being rational about this, I can guarantee there are other departments across the country filing new budget requests as we speak.
posted by tobascodagama at 7:55 AM on July 8, 2016 [9 favorites]


DPD has said several times this morning they will not militarize because of this.

That's good to hear. They seem to be trying to take a calm and measured approach to this whole mess.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:55 AM on July 8, 2016 [10 favorites]


“I just got out of an interrogation room for about 30 minutes, where police officers were lying, saying they had video of me shooting a gun, which is a lie, saying that they had witnesses saying I had shot a gun, which is a lie,” he said. “At the end of the day, the system was trying to get me.”


This seems as good a time as any to remind everyone: if you're ever in a situation where you're talking to police, remember that they lie constantly. They're trained to do this. They make promises, they try to convince you everything will be okay if you just open up to them, they gaslight. They are instructed to do this, to behave as filth without honor. This is how they "catch bad guys." They suffer no repercussions from lying; they are rewarded for it. They have EVERY INCENTIVE to lie to you.

Remember this, hold it as a sigil in your head, a two-word shield in your mental arsenal: Police Lie. If you're in a tight spot, talking to police, and you feel like maybe THIS guy can help you if you just give them a LITTLE information, if they say "look, we'll let you go in just a minute, just one more question," ESPECIALLY if the cop you're talking to SEEMS reasonable and friendly, REMEMBER:

Police Lie.
posted by Greg Nog at 7:55 AM on July 8, 2016 [106 favorites]


Panama Jackson at VSB: It has not been a good week in or for America:
Last night, as I lay in my bed asleep, my son woke me up by kicking me in the back. I looked at my phone and saw notification after notification from every news outlet about shootings in Dallas and the fact that police officers were killed. My heart dropped because I knew, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that the media would shift the entire conversation back to this mythical open season on police, who are experiencing the safest year on record for police ever. And sure enough, the non-sense sparked with news headlines that are linking what happened in Dallas to September 11th; marking it as the deadliest day for law enforcement since 9/11. And that correlation is patently ridiculous.

(snip)

I’m pissed that the media is making comparisons to 9/11 because to conflate what those people in Dallas did to what the terrorists who stole planes and flew them into buildings did just doesn’t compute. It’s not the same thing. They’re all criminals. But somehow making 9/11 seem like an attack on law enforcement and then paralleling the two is irresponsible and dangerous. The news media outlets need to do better. There are a lot of hurting people, some are now the families of police officers, but many of us who aren’t have been hurting for centuries at the hands of those in power. I’m not happy police officers are dead, but there tend to be very few officers showing much in the way of sympathy for the death their fellow fraternity members have caused.
posted by palindromic at 7:56 AM on July 8, 2016 [13 favorites]


DPD has said several times this morning they will not militarize because of this.

Militarize further, they mean. The metroplex has its own swat teams, and surrounding/interconnected towns in the region have been militarizing their police forces for the last few years.
posted by zarq at 7:57 AM on July 8, 2016 [13 favorites]


A good read on the problem of the military mindset in policing: Law Enforcement’s “Warrior” Problem.
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:57 AM on July 8, 2016 [19 favorites]


if they have remote detonation bomb robots, they certainly seem militarized enough...
posted by nadawi at 7:57 AM on July 8, 2016 [18 favorites]


You guys realize that body armor and ballistic shields don't stop every kind of bullet, right? You realize that having tactical training and time to prep doesn't remove all the risk?

Dude already shot ten or eleven people and expressed the desire to shoot more. He clearly knew how to use his weapon(s). DPD tried to negotiate, and not just for like ten minutes or whatever.

Given what we know, I have no problem with how DPD resolved this. My only concern is for the way others might manipulate this as precedent for a less extreme situation. But no, I'm damn glad they found a way to resolve this without putting anyone else in his sights.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 8:00 AM on July 8, 2016 [7 favorites]


Jelani Cobb. Three Terrible Days of Violence The split-screen spectacle of those events—a mayor and police chief mired in grief in Dallas, a mother and girlfriend mourning in Minnesota—was like a riddle of causality. Both the public and the police face a feedback loop of risk and danger.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:00 AM on July 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


if you're ever in a situation where you're talking to police

Your lawyer should be present. Otherwise, stop talking.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:01 AM on July 8, 2016 [15 favorites]


The wherewithal to use a bomb to kill the suspect is nothing new. Bomb robots have been around for years, used to approach and defuse/contain hazardous materials; and often the way suspicious packages or known explosives are handled is just to put more explosives next to them and blow them up. Using it on a suspect rather than attacking in person doesn't imply a previously unused military capacity.
posted by fatbird at 8:04 AM on July 8, 2016 [5 favorites]


I just told my wife last week that if I'm ever arrested for anything at all, unless time is a factor (like she has been kidnapped and I need the police to stop considering me a suspect as quickly as possible), no matter how innocent I am I simply will not talk to the police without the advice of attorney.

"You only need a lawyer if you're guilty," Says a blue uniformed straw-man.

"So you're saying that you're 100% certain that there are no wrongly convicted people in prison? Not another word from me without a lawyer."
posted by VTX at 8:05 AM on July 8, 2016 [9 favorites]


if they have remote detonation bomb robots, they certainly seem militarized enough...

I think a bomb disposal robot may have explosives to perform a controlled detonation, not necessarily as a weapon. That's just speculation, I'm no expert.
posted by adept256 at 8:05 AM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


From Twitter:

Hayes Brown @HayesBrown
Orlando was just 26 days ago. It has been a long, long, long month.
posted by AFABulous at 8:06 AM on July 8, 2016 [11 favorites]


it's a question of do the ends justify the means - like, i'm glad no more people were killed, i'm still skeptical of remote detonating bomb robots. if they had used a drone to kill someone who was actively shooting people i would still be saying this morning 'why do police departments have armed drones?'. you can question the methods, you can question how the police are disseminating information, you can note that they've already been wrong in this situation about suspects (and made no moves to rectify that), you can do all of this and still feel awful that cops were shot last night, still feel glad more death didn't happen, still not be on the side of the shooter.
posted by nadawi at 8:08 AM on July 8, 2016 [9 favorites]


The combination of enn's link about white supremacist infiltration of law enforcement and MonkeyToes' link about the warrior mentality in policing is incredibly disturbing and explains a lot. "Remain humble and compassionate; be professional and courteous — and have a plan to kill everyone you meet."
posted by clawsoon at 8:08 AM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


And just to clarify, I was mostly talking about the general longterm everyday culture of police departments: "chains of command," military-esque ranks/titles, saluting, military-style uniforms, marching in parades, yata yata. Not only is that kind of culture completely useless for performing 99% of the community serving tasks and roles police departments exist to do, but it's all hat and no cattle.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:09 AM on July 8, 2016 [5 favorites]


i mean, they used it specifically to kill someone last night - so whether it's intention is a weapon or not, they know how to use it as one...
posted by nadawi at 8:09 AM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


I remember these little cards that used to get handed around (maybe they were printed from a PDF from the ACLU?) about "what to do if you have to interact with the police" and while it was all reasonable advice I have to think that for a black person in the jurisdiction of a racist police department most of it would be a good way to get shot.

"Am I being detained?" -> "subject resisted arrest and had to be subdued" etc. …
posted by murphy slaw at 8:09 AM on July 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


The closer of the Jelani Cobb article roomthreeseventeen posted is devastating:
This week has become a grotesque object lesson in gun culture, one that points to a conclusion that we could have and should have drawn long ago—that the surfeit of weapons at our disposal and the corresponding fears that they induce create new hazards. There is no telling how any of these specific horrors will be resolved. But here is what we do know: we live in an age of open-source terrorism. Our inability to respond to mass shootings has meant that, eventually, even law enforcement would fall victim to one. The context of the conversation about police accountability has been irrevocably changed. Black lives matter, but reports that those words were uttered by a gunman in Dallas mean that any movement under that banner may well have met its end. And realism, in the face of tragedy, tells us that there is more ugliness in the offing.
posted by palindromic at 8:10 AM on July 8, 2016 [8 favorites]


Honest to god, I do not understand how a discussion sparked by the mass killing of a bunch leads people to feel like they need to remind us all again that we should not talk to police if we are under suspicion of something. You don't have to like police to realize that the Dallas police who got shot were just straight up victims.
posted by OmieWise at 8:11 AM on July 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


actually this discussion was sparked by the summary execution of a black man, it's just that america is so fucked up the discussion has migrated to a second execution and then a mass shooting
posted by entropicamericana at 8:13 AM on July 8, 2016 [100 favorites]


it's a question of do the ends justify the means...

Truth is that we don't know yet, while use of the bomb and robot to kill the suspect is certainly troubling. There's definitely lots of questions that should be answered over this.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:13 AM on July 8, 2016


I think I can better understand resesrvations about how this attacker met his end through the lens of a worldview where law enforcement should never have to use deadly force.

From my point of view however, there is one time only where deadly force is justified and it is when there is the potential for additional loss of life. If - and really, I hate that we're speculating wildly about this, if the attacker had been stating that there were explosives in the area, perhaps DPD feared that he might detonate them or act as a suicide bomber. If that was their fear, then I personally feel they would be justified in using the method they did. Maybe others disagree.

I still think we need a lot more information, and I think we have to wait for more than half a day before getting the necessary context.
posted by the_querulous_night at 8:13 AM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


Honest to god, I do not understand how a discussion sparked by the mass killing of a bunch leads people to feel like they need to remind us all again that we should not talk to police if we are under suspicion of something.

A man was held for hours and questioned as if he was responsible for the shootings despite there being ample video evidence he was not.
posted by edeezy at 8:14 AM on July 8, 2016 [43 favorites]


> Honest to god, I do not understand how a discussion sparked by the mass killing of a bunch leads people to feel like they need to remind us all again that we should not talk to police if we are under suspicion of something.

Because of the quote above from the NOT ACTUALLY A SUSPECT guy they interrogated and lied to. That's why.
posted by rtha at 8:14 AM on July 8, 2016 [36 favorites]


Honest to god, I do not understand how a discussion sparked by the mass killing of a bunch leads people to feel like they need to remind us all again that we should not talk to police if we are under suspicion of something.

It might be a good time to scroll up and re-familiarize yourself with the original topic of this FPP, then. The Dallas discussion is happening here because it's obviously relevant to BLM and the recent police killings of black citizens, but it's not the only discussion that's been going on in this thread, and certainly not the only one that's allowed to occur here.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:15 AM on July 8, 2016 [31 favorites]


evidence that was fully available before the interrogation began. and he's still being listed as a suspect on the police's official social media page.
posted by nadawi at 8:15 AM on July 8, 2016 [5 favorites]


Charles Pierce: I dread what's coming. Truly, I do:
Yes, I believe that there should be far fewer high-powered firearms in the hands of the general American public, but I'm not going to get into stupid arguments over what is and what isn't an assault weapon. Yes, I believe there remains a serious crisis in American law enforcement with regard to the militarization in thought and in materiel of the people who are charged with keeping what we call the peace.

But, for today, anyway, I am going to make the unremarkable point that none of these people, not the two victims of police violence nor the five victims of Thursday night, need to be dead right now. Their deaths served no purpose. Enobling them in public grief doesn't make those deaths any less unnecessary. There is too much useless death in this country, too much pointless martyrdom. That is the lesson of this awful week. That is the only lesson worth listening to in the days ahead.
posted by palindromic at 8:16 AM on July 8, 2016 [23 favorites]


Honest to god, I do not understand how a discussion sparked by the mass killing of a bunch leads people to feel like they need to remind us all again that we should not talk to police if we are under suspicion of something. You don't have to like police to realize that the Dallas police who got shot were just straight up victims.

12 officers shot at Dallas protest against police shootings

...at a protest against police shootings.

Doesn't in any way justify what happened. But this didn't happen in a vacuum.
posted by zarq at 8:18 AM on July 8, 2016 [5 favorites]


I'm not falling for the "but we use drones elsewhere now you're whining about it when it's here" derail. What appears to have happened here is absolute lunacy.

Is this at me? If so, I'm pretty solidly on record as being opposed to robotic death machine policy regardless of the color of the passport of the people that are being killed by the robotic death machines.
posted by tivalasvegas at 8:19 AM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


Per the Dallas Morning-News update, they have a name on the man who is dead. Other three suspects "uncooperative."

One of my Twitter people says he's a vet, I am asking for source on that.
posted by emjaybee at 8:21 AM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Source on shooter being a vet is Alex Horton at Stars and Stripes, relevant tweet here.
posted by emjaybee at 8:23 AM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


I know what the thread started as, and I've followed the conversation as it has shifted.

I would guess that a good many of the people outraged that the police sought, picked up, interrogated, and released the wrong man during a chaotic crisis in which people were being shot and killed, would, in other circumstances, be able to understand that walking around with a fucking gun slung over your shoulder is a bad idea for all kinds of reasons not least because if you end up in the middle of a shooting situation you will be assumed to be part of that situation and might get shot and killed yourself. The latter is a standard understanding of anyone who supports gun control, as I know many of the usual usernames do.

I'm sorry Hughes was misidentified, but I don't think it was from racism, I think it was because he was wearing a camo shirt and CARRYING A GUN WHILE PEOPLE WERE GETTING SHOT. That there was video showing that he was not involved in some of the shooting does not exonerate him totally, nor should it. It was an active and developing crisis. (The continued distribution of his picture is another matter.)

I actually think the distinction is pretty freaking important to the general goal of getting fewer people of color executed by police.
posted by OmieWise at 8:23 AM on July 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


FYI, the Dallas PD Twitter feed does note the person who's photo was circulated did turn himself, in a later tweet.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:24 AM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


OmieWise: there's video of him giving his gun to a cop. The cop gives Hughes his card so he can return the gun when this thing is all over. He was not a threat and he was not involved.
posted by edeezy at 8:28 AM on July 8, 2016 [20 favorites]


I'm not angry that they misidentified him. I'm angry that they haven't -very publicly- corrected the issue, when their misidentification is causing him and his family to be in active danger.
posted by Archelaus at 8:29 AM on July 8, 2016 [18 favorites]


That there was video showing that he was not involved in some of the shooting does not exonerate him totally, nor should it.

What? Of course it exonerates him, you can see on the video that he wasn't shooting. Open carry is legal in Texas. He may not have made the best possible choices that day, but what does he need to be exonerated of? How would he have known there would be a shooting?
posted by AFABulous at 8:29 AM on July 8, 2016 [44 favorites]


i'll believe he wasn't profiled for being black with a gun just as soon as white open carry advocates are being rounded up. the reason the 'don't talk to the police' conversation came up is because of how the police lied to him during the interrogation. it's important to remember that even if you know you're innocent, even if you just want to be helpful because you're upset cops are being killed too, the cops are not there to help you and you need to keep your mouth shut.
posted by nadawi at 8:30 AM on July 8, 2016 [39 favorites]


He was not involved in ANY of the shooting, not "some."
posted by AFABulous at 8:30 AM on July 8, 2016 [20 favorites]


I'm sorry Hughes was misidentified, but I don't think it was from racism, I think it was because he was wearing a camo shirt and CARRYING A GUN WHILE PEOPLE WERE GETTING SHOT.

Because it can't possibly be both, right?
posted by tonycpsu at 8:31 AM on July 8, 2016 [11 favorites]


"Am I being detained?"

I have been told to ask, instead: "Am I free to go?"
posted by thelonius at 8:31 AM on July 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


is it correct that he didn't even have ammo anywhere on him? difficult to shoot with an empty gun.
posted by nadawi at 8:32 AM on July 8, 2016


If you need some relief, many folks on Twitter recommending the #CarefreeBlackKids2k16 hashtag.
posted by emjaybee at 8:33 AM on July 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


Police Lie.


Albany men cleared in killing, freed after 20 years
Murder convictions for two men tossed after another man confesses to 1997 killing

Rossi highlighted additional statements by Dukes and Jones' co-defendant, Pierre Lyons, who recanted prior statements to police implicating the men.

...



"This conviction was based on extremely weak evidence of guilt," Freedman said. "It was only the confession from Lavell, which was false. It was obtained after 36 or so hours of police questioning after he maintained his innocence for most of that time and it was definitely under duress. So we believe that it goes to show how dangerous false confessions are."
posted by mikelieman at 8:34 AM on July 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


Guy who died was black with black power image posted on his Facebook.

Jesus Christ this is not going to be good.
posted by Talez at 8:34 AM on July 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'm sorry Hughes was misidentified, but I don't think it was from racism, I think it was because he was wearing a camo shirt and CARRYING A GUN WHILE PEOPLE WERE GETTING SHOT.

i guess this explains why the cops lied to him about having eyewitnesses to him shooting at people
posted by beerperson at 8:35 AM on July 8, 2016 [24 favorites]


I'm sorry Hughes was misidentified, but I don't think it was from racism, I think it was because he was wearing a camo shirt and CARRYING A GUN WHILE PEOPLE WERE GETTING SHOT.

I was going to post a link to a piece about white men actually pointing guns at police and not getting shot, until I realized that I'd actually already posted it in this thread and not in one of the other threads about gun violence and racism.

It's been a long couple of days.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:35 AM on July 8, 2016 [15 favorites]


Guy who died was black with black power image posted on his Facebook.

he was also ex-army i wonder which photo we will be seeing more of
posted by entropicamericana at 8:35 AM on July 8, 2016 [32 favorites]


Panama Jackson at VSB: Dallas PD owes Mark Hughes a very public apology:
Unfortunately, the Dallas PD has yet to issue a public apology for wrongly identifying him as a suspect. In short, they could have gotten him killed. This law abiding citizen, participating in a demonstration with already heightened tension, has a very visible gun after police officers are shot and is targeted as being a person who may have done it. We can argue about the logic of bringing a gun to this situation until the cows come home, but again, LEGAL. Shit, he should feel glad that the police officers he found and turned his gun into clearly hadn’t been made aware that he was being identified as a suspect or that could have ended terribly.

The fact that Dallas PD tweeted out (and media obviously picked up on it) and broadcast his face as a possible face of the situation is one of the more irresponsible acts I’ve seen in a good long while. On the one hand, I can almost understand: the situation has reached a fever pitch, police officers are dead, others are wounded, and you want to find the person as quickly as possible. But what about due dilligence? What about some form of evidence OTHER THAN this law abiding citizen has a firearm? If he is legally allowed to carry it, then how is he automatically a suspect unless “Black Man With a Gun” is the crime. We already know that answer.
posted by palindromic at 8:36 AM on July 8, 2016 [9 favorites]


Micah X. Johnson: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know (sourced)

Number 1 fact: The Suspect Told Police He Was Not Affiliated With Any Groups & He ‘Did This Alone’
posted by maxsparber at 8:38 AM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


God dammit I should NOT be feeling like this entire week should have "Gimme Shelter" as a soundtrack.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:38 AM on July 8, 2016 [9 favorites]


The only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

Five good guys with guns are dead. Six others shot.

One good guy with a gun was immediately identified as a suspect.

It took a robotic bomb to get the bad guy.

The only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

Repeat ad infinitum.
posted by waitingtoderail at 8:39 AM on July 8, 2016 [13 favorites]




micah xavier johnson. the immediate shortening to micah x. is going to get a lot of play.
posted by nadawi at 8:40 AM on July 8, 2016 [12 favorites]


What? Of course it exonerates him, you can see on the video that he wasn't shooting.
He was not involved in ANY of the shooting, not "some."

No it doesn't, it does not exonerate him at the time. The situation is over now. It's done, as far as we know. Pictures of Hughes not shooting when there were shots does indeed exonerate him now. It did not then because it was a developing situation and no one knew what was going to happen in 15 minutes or an hour. I'll tell you what, if I was somewhere people were shooting I'd get the fuck away from ANYONE with a gun. I wouldn't assume ANYONE with a gun was a safe person if there was shooting going on.

I'll drop this now.
posted by OmieWise at 8:41 AM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Better to just assume anyone with a gun is not a safe person, period.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:42 AM on July 8, 2016 [16 favorites]


Panama Jackson at VSB: Dallas PD owes Mark Hughes a very public apology:

Hughes is alive and unharmed while Dallas PD is a little busy at the moment.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:42 AM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


he was talking to the police, handing over his weapon, and receiving a business card from them when the tweet went up calling him a suspect. texas is an open carry state. as always, open carry seems to be one of those rights white people are afforded while black people are killed, arrested, or detained for the same.
posted by nadawi at 8:43 AM on July 8, 2016 [42 favorites]


Hughes is alive and unharmed while Dallas PD is a little busy at the moment.

How does that change the fact that they owe him an apology?
posted by edeezy at 8:44 AM on July 8, 2016 [9 favorites]


Hughes is alive and unharmed while Dallas PD is a little busy at the moment.

Nobody said they need to issue the apology now. But today would be good.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:44 AM on July 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


he was also ex-army i wonder which photo we will be seeing more of

If he was a vet, maybe this horror could at least spark a discussion of how we treat our vets for mental health issues and PTSD. But it is a really politically dangerous situation, and I hope it's not successfully exploited for scoring points for Trump's racist agenda. Goddamn this year!
posted by saulgoodman at 8:45 AM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'll tell you what, if I was somewhere people were shooting I'd get the fuck away from ANYONE with a gun. I wouldn't assume ANYONE with a gun was a safe person if there was shooting going on.

I completely agree, which is why open carry is a travesty.
posted by maxsparber at 8:45 AM on July 8, 2016 [27 favorites]


the police have time to give press conferences making sure we all know the shooter hated white cops, seems like they could just tack on 'mark hughes was erroneously suspected, cooperated fully, and is not a person of interest. we thank him for his help and regret that he and his brother have been fielding death threats. we have also removed the post'.
posted by nadawi at 8:46 AM on July 8, 2016 [49 favorites]


he was wearing a camo shirt

why at any second he could have just melted into the visual background of the surrounding forest
posted by Greg Nog at 8:48 AM on July 8, 2016 [66 favorites]


The shooter being a black vet basically is the worst case scenario. I know so so many guys like him, who while are great caring people are also severely traumatized by the combination of war and racism. It sounds like he snapped in the worst possible way. This sucks on every level. I am so angry that he would derail a peaceful movement with this bullshit and yet I can't help but pity him. Damn it. This is going to be a hard summer.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:48 AM on July 8, 2016 [8 favorites]


I'm frankly surprised he showed up in photos.
posted by maxsparber at 8:49 AM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


Meanwhile, it's Hillary and Obama's fault according to Trump's VA chairman and candidate for governor. He deleted the tweet, but the internet never forgets.
posted by lalochezia at 8:51 AM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think they can spare the five seconds it would take to scroll back to the Twitter post that is still claiming Hughes is a suspect in a mass shooting, and hit "delete."
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:52 AM on July 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


Someone put up a petition on whitehouse.gov asking for the federal government to classify Black Lives Matter as a terrorist organization.
posted by Talez at 8:52 AM on July 8, 2016


First Officer Killed in Dallas Police Ambush Identified as Brent Thompson:
According to James Spiller, chief of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit, 43-year-old Brent Thompson was identified as one of the five police officers killed in the ambush. Thompson had gotten married to a fellow officer in the last two weeks, and was the first officer from the transit police ever killed in the line of duty.
posted by palindromic at 8:52 AM on July 8, 2016


The guy who walked up to the police and gave them his gun was a brave man, and kudos to him. That could have gone very wrong.
posted by clawsoon at 8:54 AM on July 8, 2016 [13 favorites]


Oh, I think BLM --> terrorist movement is totally where the right is going to go with this and the media will Present Both Sides of course.
posted by tivalasvegas at 8:54 AM on July 8, 2016 [17 favorites]


Police Lie.

And the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Frazier v. Cupp that police trickery and deception are permitted in an interrogation. Police lie and it is standard, legal procedure. Always expect police to lie to you.
posted by JackFlash at 8:58 AM on July 8, 2016 [27 favorites]


Hughes is alive and unharmed while Dallas PD is a little busy at the moment.

They are significantly less busy than when they posted it.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:59 AM on July 8, 2016 [14 favorites]


I'll tell you what, if I was somewhere people were shooting I'd get the fuck away from ANYONE with a gun. I wouldn't assume ANYONE with a gun was a safe person if there was shooting going on.

I completely agree, which is why open carry is a travesty.


And concealed carry is even more of a travesty. At least with open carry you have the choice to avoid the person with the gun.
posted by JackFlash at 9:03 AM on July 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


When white people open carry guns, though, it is typically to intimidate, police and dominate black and brown bodies. But then again at least you know what weapon the person has.
posted by tivalasvegas at 9:10 AM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


Blatcher: Hughes is alive and unharmed while Dallas PD is a little busy at the moment.

ChurchHatesTucker: They are significantly less busy than when they posted it.

There are at least two Public Information Officers who work for the department. Their role is to speak with the public and the media and represent it on social media. No one else should have access to the department's twitter account but them.

They're likely not less busy. They're probably fielding a ton of requests in person and by phone and email from reporters and the public, preparing written statements and assessing new information as it comes in (about those wounded or killed, about the suspect(s), etc.) This story is still unfolding, and they will be needed to prepare spokespeople for interviews, make sure what's released is accurate and properly worded., etc.

That said... did I see upthread that Hughes is receiving death threats? They do need to be on top of that and work his innocence into their statements. Especially since stories about him are now being posted.
posted by zarq at 9:11 AM on July 8, 2016


You know something, I don't really care how busy there are. Placing a picture of a black man on social media and calling him a suspect put that man at risk, and they need to take the image down now.
posted by maxsparber at 9:13 AM on July 8, 2016 [51 favorites]


If they can add tweets they can delete a tweet. Maybe they're not listening to people, but that'd be pretty inept of them as you'd think they'd want to cull through any information they could get. So I bet they're getting the information, they're posting new tweets, the people who are doing both just seem to not be prioritizing it, which is [criminally] negligent IMV.
posted by avalonian at 9:16 AM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


Leaving Hughes' photo up at this point is inciting violence.
posted by tobascodagama at 9:17 AM on July 8, 2016 [19 favorites]


Okay, if BLM is going to get attacked over this tragic action by someone was not part of their organization, it seems like the rest of us, especially white people, could do things to show support for BLM.

It seems like this would be a time to buy or make a button or a sign (if you look on Etsy or the internet, there are black-owned projects that produce these; I myself would rather buy such a thing from a black maker) so that you can be visible. It can't be that BLM gets turned into something that Respectable People Cannot Mention. (I mean, it is that a bit already, but it must not get to be Respectable People Cannot Mention This Because They Are Terrorists.)

Black Lives Matter is one of the best social movements of the US during my lifetime and it is one of very few that really gives me hope.
posted by Frowner at 9:18 AM on July 8, 2016 [45 favorites]


When white people open carry guns, though, it is typically to intimidate, police and dominate black and brown bodies. But then again at least you know what weapon the person has.

what is with this use of 'bodies'? i get that it's Woke but it never seems to have any coherent use over 'people'
posted by p3on at 9:18 AM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Like all acts of terror or mass violence, the tragedy is the loss of life and the long term consequences of it. Everything else is secondary for the immediate time being.

Active disinformation that claims an innocent man is in fact one of the terrorists is one of those consequences.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:18 AM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


That said... did I see upthread that Hughes is receiving death threats? They do need to be on top of that and work his innocence into their statements. Especially since stories about him are now being posted.

Yeah, their attorney says they've "received thousands of death threats already" .
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:20 AM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


i get that it's Woke but it never seems to have any coherent use over 'people'

what's with this use of "Woke"? Is that a person's name?
posted by thelonius at 9:21 AM on July 8, 2016


woke
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:21 AM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


what is with this use of 'bodies'? i get that it's Woke but it never seems to have any coherent use over 'people'

Not sure if it originated here, but Ta-Nehisi Coates uses this frequently in Between the World and Me to emphasize the separation between the human being who is being targeted, and their body, which is all that police and others perceive. The emphasis is further on the destruction of said bodies—their being casually discarded or mangled without any respect for either their beauty or the person who possesses it.
posted by rorgy at 9:22 AM on July 8, 2016 [37 favorites]


[Couple comments removed. Cut it the fuck out with the "it's fucked/disgusting that you aren't commenting about what I think you should be" thing.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:25 AM on July 8, 2016 [24 favorites]


The guy who walked up to the police and gave them his gun was a brave man, and kudos to him. That could have gone very wrong.
Imagine:

You're an armed black man at a protest sparked by one incident after another of police officers apparently murdering black men for being armed, and you're now suddenly a suspect in the ongoing mass shooting of other police officers. The right thing to do is indeed "Turn yourself in right away, with the gun in your own safe keeping, and hope the police officers who just saw their friends murdered are less jumpy than the ones who were investigating CD sales or a broken tail light"... but at least to me "run and hide until shit cools down" might have been more tempting.

I think "brave" is a massive understatement.
posted by roystgnr at 9:25 AM on July 8, 2016 [47 favorites]


They're likely not less busy.

Eleven hours ago they managed to tweet Hughes had turned himself in. I think they could have found a second to delete the photo in the meantime.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:27 AM on July 8, 2016 [8 favorites]




Targeting the officers protecting a BLM march is tantamount to targeting the march itself. This was effectively an attack on the movement, no matter what Micah Johnson might have said about his intentions before getting executed via Battlebot.
posted by theodolite at 9:28 AM on July 8, 2016 [31 favorites]


Isaac Chotiner at Slate: Racist Responses to Tragedies Like Dallas Do More than Stoke Hatred. They Rob Us of Our Ability to Grieve:
The horrific attack Thursday night in Dallas, in which snipers murdered five police officers and wounded seven more, is the sort of American tragedy that has become all too common in our current Age of Arms. But if your first impulse was to grieve for these police officers, the response to their deaths made it much more difficult to do so. Thursday night’s shooting was followed, almost immediately, by heaps of racist online commentary, and then by blatantly bigoted and inflammatory news coverage. The killings thus served as a reminder of yet another way that our current political moment makes us a little less human: Whether the tragedy is in Orlando or Dallas, the overwhelmingly bigoted response to it from such a large chunk of our country has made it impossible to properly grieve anymore.
posted by palindromic at 9:29 AM on July 8, 2016 [5 favorites]


Brandon Blatcher: Yeah, their attorney says they've "received thousands of death threats already" .

That's horrifying.
posted by zarq at 9:33 AM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


I can't decide what upsets me more -- the way hateful racists embrace this type of attack as a reason to be racist, or the way this kind of attack smears the whole BLM movement with unjustified associations with criminality and violence.

At bottom this is an utter tragedy. Shooting officers who are providing protection for peaceful civic protest endangers us all.
posted by bearwife at 9:33 AM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


My Walden – Melissa Harris-Perry: Here it is quiet and baby boys walk to stores in the rain safely with hoodies up. And play in the park with toy guns and still go home for dinner. And grandma drives home from work without having to give an office blowjob and no one thinks sex with an unconscious girl constitutes “action.”

This is the suicide note. I have been writing it for a long time. We have been writing it for a long time. We, the black people. We despised folks whose stolen bodies built this nation without pay or acknowledgement or gratitude. This is our suicide note.

posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:34 AM on July 8, 2016 [19 favorites]


Piling on to roystgnr's comment Mark Hughes was one of the helpers from the very beginning. He should be touted as a hero, and he'll be who I point to when I see others paint BLM, or the protesters in general, with a similar brush as the attackers. I bet he was terrified handing over his gun, terrified of being taken in (and his fears were not abated) and yet he still did the thing. The scary, under duress, brave thing.
posted by avalonian at 9:34 AM on July 8, 2016 [9 favorites]


I thought Loretta Lynch's statement (text version) was good. She obviously started with Dallas, but named and discussed Alton Sterling and Philando Castile too and discussed this as "the events of this week," not only "the events of last night."

And DOJ has opened a civil rights investigation in Louisiana.
posted by zachlipton at 9:36 AM on July 8, 2016 [13 favorites]


Justice Department Launches Federal Hate Crime Investigation of Dallas Shooting

There's nothing in Lynch's statement saying that.

On preview, I note others have linked to her statement, which says the DOJ is either actively investigating or assisting in the investigations in Baton Rouge, Minneapolis, and Dallas. There's nothing indicating that they're investigating anything in any of the three investigations as a hate crime.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:39 AM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


[Couple more comments removed. Bringing in "here's some awful shit I found in yonder Toilet of Awfulness mostly just makes this thread grosser by association, please drop that. And sotonohito, you need to cool it in general some; please give the thread a break at this point.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:39 AM on July 8, 2016 [7 favorites]




Lynch's statement was excellent.
We have opened a civil rights investigation in Louisiana and we are providing assistance to local authorities in Minnesota who are leading the investigation there. Today, we are feeling the devastating loss of Dallas Area Rapid Transit Officer Brent Thompson and four other fallen officers whose names remain unreleased as we await notification of all the families. After the events of this week, Americans across the county are feeling a sense of helplessness, of uncertainty and of fear. These feelings are understandable and they are justified. But the answer must not be violence. The answer is never violence.

Rather, the answer must be action: calm, peaceful, collaborative and determined action. We must continue working to build trust between communities and law enforcement. We must continue working to guarantee every person in this country equal justice under the law. We must take a hard look at the ease with which wrongdoers can get their hands on deadly weapons and the frequency with which they use them. We must reflect on the kind of country we want to build and the kind of society we want to pass on to our children. We must reject the easy impulses of bitterness and rancor and embrace the difficult work of finding a path forward together.

Above all, we must remind ourselves that we are all Americans – and that, as Americans, we share not just a common land, but a common life. Those we have lost this week have come from different neighborhoods and backgrounds – but today, they are mourned by officers and residents, by family and friends – by men and women and children who loved them, who needed them and who will miss them always. They are mourned by all of us.

To the families of all who lost their lives in this series of tragedies, we share your pain and your loss. To our brothers and sisters who wear the badge: I want you to know that I am deeply grateful for the difficult and dangerous work you do every day to keep our streets safe and our nations secure. I am heartbroken at this loss. And the Department of Justice will do all we can to support you in the days ahead. To those who seek to improve our country through peaceful protest and protected speech: I want you to know that your voice is important. Do not be discouraged by those who use your lawful actions as cover for their heinous violence. We will continue to safeguard your constitutional rights and to work with you in the difficult mission of building a better nation and a brighter future. And to all Americans: I ask you not to allow the events of this week to precipitate a ‘new normal’ in our country. I ask you to turn to each other, not against each other as we move forward.

And I urge you to remember, today and every day, that we are one nation. We are one people. And we stand together. May God bless the families and loved ones of all who were taken from us this week. And may God bless the United States of America.

posted by zarq at 9:41 AM on July 8, 2016 [21 favorites]


Here, specifically, is Lynch discussing the investigations:
The Department of Justice – including the FBI, ATF, U.S. Marshals Service and U.S. Attorney’s Office – is working closely with our state and local counterparts, and we intend to provide any assistance we can to investigate this attack, and to heal a community that has been severely shaken and deeply scarred by an unfathomable tragedy. This is an unfolding situation and we will provide additional information when it is available and appropriate.

This has been a week of profound grief and heartbreaking loss. The peaceful protest that was planned in Dallas last night was organized in response to the tragic deaths of Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota. We have opened a civil rights investigation in Louisiana and we are providing assistance to local authorities in Minnesota who are leading the investigation there.
and here she calls for non-violence:
After the events of this week, Americans across the county are feeling a sense of helplessness, of uncertainty and of fear. These feelings are understandable and they are justified. But the answer must not be violence. The answer is never violence.

Rather, the answer must be action: calm, peaceful, collaborative and determined action.
[...]
To those who seek to improve our country through peaceful protest and protected speech: I want you to know that your voice is important. Do not be discouraged by those who use your lawful actions as cover for their heinous violence. We will continue to safeguard your constitutional rights and to work with you in the difficult mission of building a better nation and a brighter future. And to all Americans: I ask you not to allow the events of this week to precipitate a “new normal” in our country. I ask you to turn to each other, not against each other as we move forward.
I think she said what she did as well as someone in her position can officially say.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:43 AM on July 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


I watched a video online that I can't find now from a live feed last night in which a protester described Hughes to a news camera and told them that he witnessed Hughes pointing his gun at police. The discussion was confusing but the reporter repeatedly described his statement as the protester having witnessed 'the man with the gun' with Hughes' description actually shoot police officers. The police did not lie about witness statements about Hughes. Clearly the witness was full of it, but it would have been pretty stupid of police to not detain Hughes on the basis of that statement. That doesn't excuse them from leaving his picture up once they had him in custody for questioning though.
posted by Dojie at 9:45 AM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


The suspect was killed with a Dallas police bomb robot, which was sent in after negotiations broke down

On top of everything else, we now have the phrase "police bomb robot" to haunt our dreams.
posted by msalt at 9:46 AM on July 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


Thank God that we at least have competent and compassionate leaders at the top of the Executive branch.
posted by tivalasvegas at 9:47 AM on July 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


Somebody on Twitter just pointed out that there were 100 police officers at the protest, and that seemingly one guy with a rifle managed to shoot 11 of them.

I don't know how anybody can argue that guns make us safer, and the more people who have guns, the safer we will be. One rifle literally decimated an armed police force.
posted by maxsparber at 9:48 AM on July 8, 2016 [66 favorites]


Thank God that we at least have competent and compassionate leaders at the top of the Executive branch.

For now. Vote this November.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:50 AM on July 8, 2016 [5 favorites]


“We tried to negotiate for several hours, negotiations broke down, we had an exchange of gunfire with the suspect,” Brown said. “We saw no other option but to use our bomb-robot and place a device on its extension for it to detonate where the suspect was. Other options would have exposed our officers to grave danger. The suspect is dead a result of detonating the bomb.”

Two questions come to mind. First, is this the first time a bomb robot has been used to kill an American citizen by the police? Second, could they have used something a little less lethal, like tear gas?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:52 AM on July 8, 2016 [12 favorites]


from "summer, somewhere" by Danez Smith:

"history is what it is. it knows what it did.
bad dog. bad blood. bad day to be a boy

color of a July well spent. but here, not earth
not heaven, boys can’t recall their white shirt

turned a ruby gown. here, there is no language
for officer or law, no color to call white.

if snow fell, it’d fall black. please, don’t call
us dead, call us alive someplace better.

we say our own names when we pray.
we go out for sweets & come back."
posted by dysh at 9:55 AM on July 8, 2016 [29 favorites]


The bomb robot sounds like something they've been waiting to try out.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:56 AM on July 8, 2016 [8 favorites]




what is with this use of 'bodies'? i get that it's Woke but it never seems to have any coherent use over 'people'

I'm sure that I'm part it is a shibboleth or, more charitably, a vocabulary word that gets picked up somewhat unconsciously after X amount of reading TNC and black Twitter and queer culture etc.

For me "bodies" gets at the visceral nature of what is done to us. It's not just "Oh you have to pay a higher mortgage rate" or even "Your family structure has been ravaged by centuries of families being torn apart in the name of Mammon and white supremacy".

It is this: you are looked at. Seen and judged, your very body. If you are wearing the wrong clothes. If you are walking down the street at the wrong time. If you don't control the movement of your hands just right when you are pulled over for speeding.

Your body might be destroyed.

That is why we say bodies.
posted by tivalasvegas at 9:57 AM on July 8, 2016 [39 favorites]


Two questions come to mind. First, is this the first time a bomb robot has been used to kill an American citizen by the police?

Yes.

Second, could they have used something a little less lethal, like tear gas?

Yes. Bomb robots have been used to attack suspects with non-lethal means before.
Reports of armed robots being employed by law enforcement date back even further, however – a Wired report from 2007 details in-depth how robots originally designed for military use were being actively marketed and sold to domestic police forces int he U.S., including models that could be equipped with the following:

• Multi-shot TASER electronic control device with laser-dot aiming.
• Loudspeaker and audio receiver for negotiations.
• Night vision and thermal cameras.
• Choice of weapons for lethal or less-than-lethal responses
– 40 mm grenade launcher – 2 rounds
– 12-gage shotgun – 5 rounds
– FN303 less-lethal launcher – 15 rounds.

Those robots were not actually armed by the police departments which owned them, at the time of publication of that story, and those are different in purpose and construction from the robot likely used by the Dallas PD, which is likely a Marcbot-IV EOD (more [evidence] to support this here), designed specifically for bomb defusion rather than offensive action. Similar robots have been used in an improvised manner similar to how Dallas police employed theirs in this situation in a few instances on the battlefield in combat situations.

posted by zarq at 9:59 AM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]






Patrick says protestors heard shots and turned away expecting police officers to protect them – "How hypocritical."

It is very literally the goal of BLM to have a police force that protects them, instead of kills them.
posted by maxsparber at 10:01 AM on July 8, 2016 [116 favorites]


Until we know what sort of explosive device was used it probably isn't useful to conjecture whether appropriate force was used.

Explosive devices include non lethal options all the way up to high explosive devices. Considering the location it seems like flash bangs are the appropriate type of response but even those have a non zero chance of killing someone.
posted by vuron at 10:01 AM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yes, this does appear to be the first use of a "bomb robot by US police" but it's a tactic used before by the military in Iraq.

This combined with Micah Johnson's military service shows just how devastating our endless, pointless, morally indefensible wars are, not just for the people we destroy in other countries but for ourselves. The war always comes home.
posted by dis_integration at 10:02 AM on July 8, 2016 [12 favorites]


Second, could they have used something a little less lethal, like tear gas?

Yeah, this is a very good question and again leads to the follow up why do police sometimes seem over eager to use deadly force? Shouldn't they be considering and exhausting all nonlethal options first, if empowered to use lethal force at all, if their charge is to protect and serve all members of their communities?
posted by saulgoodman at 10:02 AM on July 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


Patrick says protestors heard shots and turned away expecting police officers to protect them – "How hypocritical."

The Lieutenant Governor of Texas, everybody!


And FYI for non-Texans: the office of Lieutenant Governor of Texas is actually more powerful than that of Governor, so this isn't just some loose talk from a functionary. This comes straight from the top.
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:04 AM on July 8, 2016 [6 favorites]




designed specifically for bomb defusion rather than offensive action. Similar robots have been used in an improvised manner similar to how Dallas police employed theirs in this situation in a few instances on the battlefield in combat situations.

IED
posted by adept256 at 10:06 AM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Tear gas isn't lethal and it's possible for the suspect to still fight back. That was not DPD's goal at that. The goal was to kill him, neutralizing any threat to their officers.

It ain't pretty and there's questions galore, but that's what the goal was.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:06 AM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


"Crucially the robot did not make any decisions itself and would not be capable of doing so."

Come on Slate.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:07 AM on July 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


It is, you are looked at. Seen and judged, your very body. If you are wearing the wrong clothes. If you are walking down the street at the right time. If you don't control the movement of your hands just right when you are pulled over for speeding.

That's a wonderful description. I think "bodies" goes back even earlier than that. Slavery was the physical exploitation of black bodies. Slaves were, in the aggregate, bodies capable of doing work and receiving abuse (of all forms), not people with lives who mattered. That legacy still isn't wiped out.

It also invokes the very literal bodies that are so often left alone to die on the ground after police shootings
posted by zachlipton at 10:08 AM on July 8, 2016 [9 favorites]


Yeah, I don't see any ambiguity. The police statements have not said anything about attempting to extricate him using explosives. They've mad it pretty clear that they sent a robot in with a bomb to end his life.
posted by maxsparber at 10:08 AM on July 8, 2016 [5 favorites]


Philando Castile’s mom stunned when CNN’s Cuomo asks about Dallas: ‘My son died just the other day’
Cuomo started the interview Friday morning on “New Day” by asking Castile about her reaction to the fatal shootings of five police officers and the wounding of six others in Dallas, and she reacted in bewilderment.

“Me? I don’t know anything about what happened in Dallas,” Castile said. “I’m sure that what we have here planned in the state of Minnesota is not of that caliber. We’re having a peaceful protest, and I don’t know anything about what happened in Dallas. My son died just the other day, and I haven’t had sleep in almost 48 hours. So no, I haven’t been watching any television, so I can’t answer that.”
posted by palindromic at 10:11 AM on July 8, 2016 [60 favorites]


uh

when I watched the press conference half-awake this morning I thought the robot detonated a bomb near or on the person of the shooter, that it was one of the devices he said he'd planted

I am just now fully understanding that the police supplied the explosive for the robot to carry and detonate with the intent to kill him

justified or not, that's, um, hella unsettling. yeesh
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:12 AM on July 8, 2016 [26 favorites]


I don't really see why it's more unsettling than just shooting him, TBH, which is most likely what was going to happen.
posted by Artw at 10:19 AM on July 8, 2016 [5 favorites]


I think we can allow people to be unsettled about anything in this current environment without questioning why.
posted by agregoli at 10:20 AM on July 8, 2016 [21 favorites]


You can't really fight back against a murderbot. It's unsettling the same way a Dalek is unsettling.
posted by stolyarova at 10:21 AM on July 8, 2016 [14 favorites]


it's like uber but for murderous police officers
posted by entropicamericana at 10:23 AM on July 8, 2016 [27 favorites]


zachlipton: The Half Has Never Been Told by Ed Baptist if you've not read it uses metaphors related to parts of the black body to structure his history of slavery. He puts a lot of emphasis on the economic and social impact and so the body emphasis can be very jarring (and thus very effective).
posted by R343L at 10:24 AM on July 8, 2016 [5 favorites]


About "bodies": I think the talk of bodies also derives from biopower - the idea that state power is rationalized as population-health, the regulation of bodies for social wellbeing. So when the state understands itself, for instance, as forcing pregnant women to take drug tests "for their own good", that's biopower. That this is a kind of intimate way of conceptualizing control - like, the biopower state controls you not by saying "you are a heretic" or by saying "I am the king, I decide what you do"; it controls you by saying "for your own good, we are going to implant this birth control", "for the health of society, we have to stop and frisk these young men" "for the health of society we have to monitor your body, where it is and how you use it". It's the governing of people as populations - consider it to be dealing with people like a herd.
posted by Frowner at 10:25 AM on July 8, 2016 [20 favorites]


Not really seeing that as a downside, unlesss were positing some kind of slippery slope of murderbots for people who are not active shooters.
posted by Artw at 10:25 AM on July 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


This guy was a good enough shot to injure and kill many people from a distance. We don't know the details of how he was holed up or what ordinance or other explosives he may or may not have had. Any position from which they could shoot him, they too would be exposed.

Tear gas? You don't know that he doesn't have a gas mask, especially given the military nature of his actions and movement. Now you've given him a smoke cover to change positions.

Given what we know right now, I don't see any problem with the use of an explosive, regardless of how it was delivered to end the threat and situation. He could have seen it coming and surrender but he chose not to.
posted by splen at 10:25 AM on July 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


I don't really see why it's more unsettling than just shooting him, TBH, which is most likely what was going to happen.

It's unsettling because no lives have risked in the taking of the other life. I think this particular situation seemingly justifies that in a narrow context, but these things have a way of growing beyond extraordinary use only into an everyday tool.

Would Philando Castile be alive now if an armed robot had pulled him over? Hard to say. What if the robot was being driven by a cop back at headquarters? Hard to say. Finding out those answers won't be pretty and DPD's use of the robot is one more step down that grey road.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:26 AM on July 8, 2016 [5 favorites]


RedState - RedState! - has a sane essay about the situation.

The Uncomfortable Reason Why it Came to This in Dallas Yesterday.

Here's the reality that we don't often talk about - that societies are held together less by laws and force and threats of force than we are by ethereal and fragile concepts like mutual respect and belief in the justness of the system itself.
posted by RedOrGreen at 10:26 AM on July 8, 2016 [28 favorites]


"Crucially the robot did not make any decisions itself and would not be capable of doing so."

Come on Slate


It's a fair point. Bomb Robot was effectively a guided grenade toss. Autonomous Bomb Robot would potentially put innocent lives at risk.

Now, Nitrogen Flooding Robot might have been a better idea, but that's not Slate's fault.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:27 AM on July 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


According to the WSJ, the shooter (was there more than one suspect?, the robot one) was a PFC Masonry specialist who had served in Afghanistan.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:28 AM on July 8, 2016


MN news station with purported police scanner recordings just before Philando Castile was pulled over.

"'The two occupants just look like people that were involved in a robbery,' the officer says. 'The driver looks more like one of our suspects, just 'cause of the wide set nose.'"
posted by nickmark at 10:29 AM on July 8, 2016 [8 favorites]


a PFC Masonry specialist

illuminati conspiracy confirmed
posted by entropicamericana at 10:29 AM on July 8, 2016 [12 favorites]


from "summer, somewhere" by Danez Smith:

I don't cry.

The last time was when my grandmother died in 2009.

I didn't cry at 9/11. At Sandy Hook or Orlando or the fascists that are everywhere now and who want my queer brown body gone.

But that poem. I'm sitting at the counter of a Mexican restaurant in the heart of Chicago watching the people walk by on the sidewalk and trying to eat my lunch and I am finally crying.
posted by tivalasvegas at 10:32 AM on July 8, 2016 [20 favorites]


According to the WSJ, the shooter (was there more than one suspect?, the robot one) was a PFC Masonry specialist who had served in Afghanistan.

Carpentry and Masonry Specialist (12W)

posted by Fidel Cashflow at 10:38 AM on July 8, 2016


A Small Needful Fact

Is that Eric Garner worked
for some time for the Parks and Rec.
Horticultural Department, which means,
perhaps, that with his very large hands,
perhaps, in all likelihood,
he put gently into the earth
some plants which, most likely,
some of them, in all likelihood,
continue to grow, continue
to do what such plants do, like house
and feed small and necessary creatures,
like being pleasant to touch and smell,
like converting sunlight
into food, like making it easier
for us to breathe.



-Ross Gay
posted by a fiendish thingy at 10:43 AM on July 8, 2016 [79 favorites]


"wide set nose"

I'm assuming this is a code phrase in common circulation, at least for that particular department, like when racist waiters talk about how "Canadians" don't tip.
posted by tobascodagama at 10:45 AM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


It's a racial pretext, making as much sense as "slanty eyes."
posted by rhizome at 10:48 AM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


Interested Dallas/Fort Worth types, there's another rally tonight (and every night through July 11) in Fort Worth's Sundance Square starting at 7pm.

Are you tired yet? Want to see something different and positive? Join us as we address social issues within our own community and beyond. We will be starting from Sundance Square and walking to the courthouse steps for a vigil and open discussion. We are asking that attendees wear red shirts representing the shirt brother Alton wore as well as the bloodshed behind these senseless events. Also we can use signs saying "NO MORE KILLING" . Let's change the world by starting with our own communities!
posted by emjaybee at 10:49 AM on July 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


The protest was announced just that morning. Is that enough time to plan an attack of this magnitude? What happened to the other three suspects?
posted by AFABulous at 10:50 AM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


MN news station with purported police scanner recordings just before Philando Castile was pulled over.

The station says they have not independently confirmed the authenticity of the recording. They tried, weren't able to, and aired it anyway.

It may turn out to be true, it's certainly plausible, but until it is verified it's just more bad journalism for the sake of attention. Irresponsible for them to report, irresponsible for you to post.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 10:51 AM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


Elliptical

They just can't seem to...They should try harder to...They ought to be more...We all wish they weren't so...They never...They always...Sometimes they...once in a while they...However it is obvious that they...Their overall tendency has been...The consequences of which have been...They don't appear to understand that...If only they would make an effort to...But we know how difficult it is for them to...Many of them remain unaware of...Some who should know better simply refuse to...Of course, their perspective has been limited by...On the other hand, they obviously feel entitled to...Certainly we can't forget that they...Nor can it be denied that they...We know that his has had an enormous impact on their...Nevertheless their behavior strikes us as...Our interactions unfortunately have been...

by Harryette Mullen
2002




--
I think some kind of fascinating study could be conducted based on how people fill in each of those ellipses.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:51 AM on July 8, 2016 [16 favorites]


. . . . .
posted by stolyarova at 10:54 AM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


I don't know how anybody can argue that guns make us safer, and the more people who have guns, the safer we will be. One rifle literally decimated an armed police force.

That's always going to be true in the case of a sniper. A hidden opponent with a long reach is going to have a huge advantage. But that's an edge case in US life - it doesn't invalidate the argument (which I disagree with, just for other reasons).

Would Philando Castile be alive now if an armed robot had pulled him over? Hard to say. What if the robot was being driven by a cop back at headquarters?

I may be naïve but I'd like to think so. I've been professionally and personally aquainted with police officers that had comrades that were murdered more or less randomly in the line of duty (by white people in both cases, fwiw). I know that every time they walked up to a stopped car, part of them wondered if it was going to leave their children without a parent.

There are absolutely genuinely bad actors in the police, but a lot of the police shootings are caused by people (many of whom should never be in that position to begin with) that panic about their own personal safety and make horrible choices. Removing that personal risk won't reduce illegal profiling and persecution but I think it'll result in fewer bodies.

There's also good arguments that traffic stop robots should not be armed. And accepting that the use of drones/bots will happen (it will), we can work to make regulations that work for the people, like having the video footage stream to non-police controlled storage, so there's less ability to lose video ala the body cams.
posted by Candleman at 10:59 AM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


A prompt response from the Nashville PD.

I will never understand how many public servants continue to fail at social media this far into the 21st century.
posted by TwoStride at 11:00 AM on July 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


Irresponsible for them to report, irresponsible for you to post.

I mean, I could go to my other computer, and in less than 5 minutes I could produce an audio recording that to most people would be indistinguishable from a police scanner recording and send it to the media, and I could make it as inflammatory as I wanted. It's technically trivial. If it got picked up and amplified by the Internet it would be impossible to undo all the damage it caused when it was determined to be fake.

I believe the cops murdered Philando Castile, and I believe the kind of thing heard in the recording happens, but all we know from the report is that some rando gave the station a recording and it has not been verified or authenticated. The hosts said the reporter had been working on the story all evening, but they didn't say anything specific about why they determined it was authentic enough to air except that they had reached out to police and not heard back.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 11:00 AM on July 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


It may turn out to be true, it's certainly plausible, but until it is verified it's just more bad journalism for the sake of attention. Irresponsible for them to report, irresponsible for you to post.

Hardly. It wasn't verified by the police themselves, but the contents of the scan were consistent with the details of the shooting, the license plate number was identified, the location was the same as the shooting, and there was no evidence of tampering.

Believe it or not, news stations do not have to get confirmations from the police department before they air something. In fact, if they rely on police stations, they often don't get the facts they need when they need them.

The guy on social media I saw grousing about this was Bob Collins from MPR, who had retweeted something that was vetted by a police department last night -- the image of Mark Hughes with a gun, identifying him as a suspect. So, Bob's in no god damn position to complain.
posted by maxsparber at 11:10 AM on July 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


Delurking to post a letter format I've been using to contact local politicians regarding police accountability. I am white and have been writing to white officials, so this letter was written from that perspective and as such may contain areas of blindness and ignorance. I don't like the framing around money, but that seems to be what the forces of capitalism respond to.

I hereby release the following blockquoted text into the public domain. Please feel free to modify this writing to suit your needs.
To whom it may concern,

I am writing concerning police accountability. Alton Sterling and Philando Castile were, in my view, lynched by police officers. I do not expect the officers to face serious consequences for killing two African-American citizens, even though video evidence of the murders exist. Our government are failing to protect some of our society's most vulnerable members. Each time our government fails to do so, vulnerable people, most especially people of colour, become more traumatized.

I would like to pass on an idea I have seen put forward by African-American activists -- namely, that police officers should be required to carry liability insurance. I believe this practice should be normalized and might help hold
police officers accountable for three reasons.

First, professionals of all sorts have some sort of bonding or liability insurance. Locksmiths, plumbers, doctors, drivers, and many other professionals in other fields must carry some sort of insurance in case their work harms
someone else. Policing is a demanding, difficult job where mistakes can have devestating consequences. Thus, police officers, as professionals, should be required by state and municipal law to carry such insurance.

Second, every time a police officer is found guilty of violent misconduct, the tax payers are on the hook for it. I think police officers need to pick up at least a little bit of that in a shared risk pool, so taxpayers are not footing the bill for civil damages arising from officer actions.

Finally, liability insurance premiums might discourage misconduct, if such actions result in an increased financial liability to officers personally. At some point, just as with automobile insurance, too many violations would eventually result in monthly premiums being unaffordable. If no company will insure such an officer, then that person could no longer continue as a police officer.

While it pains me to make these arguments that centre around money, it seems that financial penalties are a feasible way in the shorter-term to increase the accountability of police officers.

As white people, it is necessary to do all *we* can to end white supremacy. *We* are obligated to end this de facto state of Apartheid.

Because Black Lives *Matter*,
I hope this will be useful for anyone who wants to contact local officials but doesn't know what to say. I barely know what to say.

Love to all.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 11:10 AM on July 8, 2016 [29 favorites]


A police officer was shot this morning in Ballwin, a suburb of St. Louis. There was a massive, massive police response, with officers from all over St. Louis' various municipalities converging on the scene and on the hospital to where the officer was taken.

The suspect is in custody and according the media reports is a black male. And no one knows whether it's motivated by what's happened in Baton Rouge and Minnesota and Dallas, or whether it's a completely random occurrence. But very few of the open wounds in this community since Ferguson have healed, and this is going to set us back yet further. Social media sources (no official confirmation) are saying the officer has died. Heaven help us.
posted by Chanther at 11:11 AM on July 8, 2016 [7 favorites]


“Interview with ‘Killer’ Mike Render” —MzShyneka, WHTA - 107.9 FM Atlanta, 07 July 2016 [Source: Facebook]
posted by ob1quixote at 11:12 AM on July 8, 2016 [8 favorites]


"It wasn't verified by the police themselves, but the contents of the scan were consistent with the details of the shooting, the license plate number was identified, the location was the same as the shooting, and there was no evidence of tampering."

Well, yeah, a fake recording made after the shooting would have all of this as well. I'm not saying that the recording is fake. I'm saying that none of those things listed would indicate it to be real.
posted by I-baLL at 11:13 AM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


I will never understand how many public servants continue to fail at social media this far into the 21st century.

Lots of people and companies fail at social media -- even those with communications experience or training -- because it is unfiltered and people tend not to think of posting online in the same way we think about speaking words aloud. That disconnect leads to a fundamental misunderstanding and misreading of online privacy and anonymity, as well as an unfortunate tendency by some to express their innermost, unfiltered thoughts -- the ones they usually have the sense to keep to themselves.

When someone like that officer gets fired though, that's not a failure. That's the rest of us getting damned lucky that he opened his mouth. His bosses took his gun away before he shot and killed someone. A win for all concerned.
posted by zarq at 11:14 AM on July 8, 2016 [6 favorites]



The protest was announced just that morning. Is that enough time to plan an attack of this magnitude? What happened to the other three suspects?

I don't know how long it takes for for an experienced someone who is already angry and unhinged to get their already-acquired arsenal, find a good elevated spot, and shoot people.

The bombs he claims to have placed are probably not actually real.

The other three suspects were likely swept up for being suspicious, but not actually party to the shooter himself. This explains the repeated police statements that they are "not cooperative."

There is almost never more than one shooter, but in the chaos of an incident, people often--if not always--believe there are more. Unfortunately, this means the conspiracy theorists get another tick in their ever-expanding horrible world-view.
posted by RedEmma at 11:17 AM on July 8, 2016 [9 favorites]


Well, yeah, a fake recording made after the shooting would have all of this as well. I'm not saying that the recording is fake. I'm saying that none of those things listed would indicate it to be real.

Based on this, almost no reporting could get done. Almost every photo taken of the shootings last night could be forgeries. Eyewitnesses all could be lying.

You match up the information your given with the facts you know to be true, and, if they line up, you have done your due diligence. An official seal of approval from a government organization that may have tried to delete evidence does not make it more or less credible.

The station identified that the recording had not been confirmed by the police. But they didn't need to sit on it until it was confirmed.
posted by maxsparber at 11:19 AM on July 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


I guess link to in-progress news stories if you want, but it seems more responsible to merely wait until I become an arihant and achieve omniscience before examining information.
posted by Greg Nog at 11:22 AM on July 8, 2016 [17 favorites]


maxsparber: Yes, I am aware of this. My point is that it mentioning already known facts doesn't indicate anything regarding its veracity.
posted by I-baLL at 11:22 AM on July 8, 2016


There are absolutely genuinely bad actors in the police, but a lot of the police shootings are caused by people (many of whom should never be in that position to begin with) that panic about their own personal safety and make horrible choices.

That's one thing that repeatedly strikes me about many of the videos in which police murder or menace civilians -- how common it is for at least some of the officers involved to have really freaked-out (or amped-up, which is just an aggressive version of freaked-out) demeanor. I mean, firefighters, EMTs, rescue workers, etc. routinely go into demonstrably more chaotic, personally and publicly dangerous and stressful situations every single day that could make them dead, but they are by and large able to refrain from freaking out. It's crucial to the basic functions of the job. FDNY did not go shrieking and hyperventilating up the steps of the World Trade Center.

Or am I wrong about that? Firefighters have slogans like "calm the chaos" rather than "dominate and control" or whatever, don't they? Whereas it seems like the point or at least inevitable consequence of the whole deeply unrealistic police "we are warriors who are at risk every moment" mindset is to promote and amplify freakouts. At minimum, there needs to be a massive re-education effort, longterm CBT program, and ruthless cleanout of the officers too damaged and damaging to be effective.
posted by FelliniBlank at 11:26 AM on July 8, 2016 [26 favorites]


I mean, firefighters, EMTs, rescue workers, etc. routinely go into demonstrably more chaotic, personally and publicly dangerous and stressful situations every single day that could make them dead, but they are by and large able to refrain from freaking out.

How do you know this?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:29 AM on July 8, 2016


Do Black Lives Matter to White Christians? from Sojourners. A nice punchy video perfect for putting on your Facebook or Twitter if it has white Christians on it that need some help with this.
posted by emjaybee at 11:30 AM on July 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


My Excommunicated Cardinal: My only quibble is that I would change "taxpayers on the hook" to "public on the hook" or "people of CITY on the hook".

I think it's especially relevant given that many of the most vulnerable are not property-owners and thus do not pay municipal tax, but it IS their money being used to settle lawsuits. It's money that might have gone to schools, programs, parks, and support for those vulnerable populations if it hadn't instead gone to pay victims and lawyers. "Taxpayer" (the word and the concept) is not a suitable substitute for citizen, IMO.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 11:31 AM on July 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


I mean, firefighters, EMTs, rescue workers, etc. routinely go into demonstrably more chaotic, personally and publicly dangerous and stressful situations every single day that could make them dead

Those situations don't involve people actively trying to kill them.
Firefighters also, presumably, don't have to worry about the fire lodging a complaint or suing them later. You're not given simulation after simulation where you're trying to outguess whether the sim is going to try to get you this time.

That's not remotely to claim that police work is super dangerous. We've already had the statistics upthread about how many jobs are more dangerous. It's a different kind of danger, though, and a different kind of mindset. And yes, that mindset (and systemic racism and lack of accountability) are clearly part of the problems we're having now.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:31 AM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


White right wing counterprotester at the BLM event in Portland pulls out his gun, threatens protesters. No police shot him.

I was there, right about where the camera in this video was, until about 5-10 minutes before this incident.

There were no police around when he brandished his Glock, two-handed, sweeping a group of protestors who had told him he needed to leave. According to Raw Story, two vans of police drove up several minutes later and arrested the guy based on reports that filtered back to them.

I was reading about the shootings in Dallas as I marched, which might explain why the police were holding back.

Background -- the guy with the gun is an alt-right activist who runs a YouTube channel called "Laughing at Liberals." His schtick, apparently, is showing up to demonstrations and instigating confrontations which he videotapes.
posted by msalt at 11:31 AM on July 8, 2016 [9 favorites]


How do you know this?

Ill-informed incidental anecdotal evidence, I guess?
posted by FelliniBlank at 11:32 AM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


I suppose my feeling is that if EMTs and firefighters are having the sort of panicked meltdowns we are regularly seeing from cops, they would be tackling and shooting more patients and houses.
posted by maxsparber at 11:34 AM on July 8, 2016 [10 favorites]


"What Does it Mean to Raise a Black Kid Now?": Meanwhile, black mothers and fathers have to come home and face their black children—just as they did after the murders of Freddie Gray and Tamir Rice and Michael Brown and Eric Garner and Sandra Bland and countless more—and explain to them how this happened and why. By now, Melissa Harris-Perry (mother of Parker, 14, and Anna, 2) and GrassROOTS Community Foundation President Janice Johnson (mother of Marley, 11) are at a loss. Between them, they've mastered the data and know the research. They've read it all. And yet there is no foolproof guide to raising and protecting children while black
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:36 AM on July 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'd rather we defer to actual EMTs or firefighters, rather than guess how they are in the ambulance when they're on the verge of a patient coding.
posted by avalonian at 11:36 AM on July 8, 2016


My experience has been that EMT's and firefighters under pressure are remarkably calm, efficient, and professional. Yeah, it's anecdata, but it's not like we're able to approach rescue workers under duress and ask them to objectively rate how freaked out they are on a scale of 1 to 10.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 11:40 AM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


Firefighters also, presumably, don't have to worry about the fire lodging a complaint or suing them later.

Can individual police officers actually get sued? Or just the city or municipality that employs them?
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:41 AM on July 8, 2016


I apologize if this has been posted before, but it feels powerful & relevant & I believes it deserves a share. Perhaps it can be offered up to friends/families in relevant facebook circles where #BLM is misunderstood.

Law professor's response to BLM shirt complaint.

[edited to tidy link]
posted by narwhal at 11:43 AM on July 8, 2016 [46 favorites]


Not an EMT or Firefighter, but I've worked with difficult populations that put me, others, and themselves at risk regularly. There's a professionalism that I saw regularly exhibited that I've rarely seen with cops. The cop mentality seems to be "be the biggest asshole in the room," which they can get away with because they have a badge that lets them be. Working with people who don't know what a badge is, you have to be a bit smarter about it.

Cops are just lazy assholes, AFAICT.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:44 AM on July 8, 2016 [9 favorites]


In Chicago EMTs are not allowed to enter an area until it has been cleared by police if it is an active crime scene.

The EMTs I've worked with have been fantastic people who do really awesome work, but the concerns are very different.

Though I do know an EMT who is fairly traumatized by not being able to save people because the area was not cleared.
posted by AlexiaSky at 11:47 AM on July 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


Firefighters have a significantly higher rate of alcoholism than the general populace. People handle their PTSD in different ways.

You can't panic and shoot a fire. I don't have any actual knowledge, by I strongly suspect that there are firefighters that melt down on the job and make mistakes that cost them or someone else their lives.
posted by Candleman at 11:47 AM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


My experience has been that EMT's and firefighters under pressure are remarkably calm, efficient, and professional.

Because they aren't trained from the beginning, and throughout their careers to react to perceived dangers by escalating aggressively to dominate the situation.
posted by chimaera at 11:47 AM on July 8, 2016 [19 favorites]


Police are trained to be the most dominant alpha in the room at all times. That's not a great way to keep a situation from escalating, and training people to submit to it unthinkingly might save lives but what a shitty society to live in.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 11:49 AM on July 8, 2016 [14 favorites]


I'd rather we defer to actual EMTs or firefighters

My partner was an EMT and has had various high-stress jobs in her life. She's also an artist and highly emotional under normal circumstances.

But when she's on the job, holy shit, she has ice in her veins.

When we first met, she was very quick to defend cops from any criticism, having worked closely with them for years. Now that she works with people with mental illness, calling the cops is an absolute last resort. We all know why.
posted by klanawa at 11:50 AM on July 8, 2016 [35 favorites]


See also my comment up thread about police training and how it encourages an aggressive posture. And the problems with how that is presented.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:51 AM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


There's also good arguments that traffic stop robots should not be armed.

This is tough news to process but it's too early to be drinking, friend.
posted by adept256 at 11:51 AM on July 8, 2016 [5 favorites]


Thinking about it, I think it's tremendously important not to let the event from last night overshadow the discussion that preceded it. A mass shooting of police by a sniper is so rare an occurrence it has only ever happened once in US history, it seems to have been by a single shooter, and he himself said he wasn't representing any group. It is not likely to recur.

The frequent killings of black people by police are a 36 hour occurrence that is at the hands of official representatives of the state and reflects a baked-in racism that needs to be addressed. It is likely to happen again in the next day and a half.

The shooter did a tremendous disservice if he was genuinely concerned about black lives, because so spectacular an event is almost certainly going to overwhelming the smaller, daily horror of black death. We do not need to participate in this disservice by allowing ourselves to be distracted by the event in Dallas.
posted by maxsparber at 11:53 AM on July 8, 2016 [65 favorites]


I've worked with police for years too. I haven't met any who were trained to be the most macho or dominant alpha. I have met a large variety, and by and large they are good people. There are notable bad news exceptions.

I've worked with plenty of EMTs and firefighters too. They come in a wide variety too, including people of the macho and alpha ilk.

It doesn't advance the cause of justice to name call, stereotype, or demonize police officers as a group.
posted by bearwife at 11:55 AM on July 8, 2016 [5 favorites]




Individual cops may be okay. The system is poisoned.
posted by AFABulous at 11:59 AM on July 8, 2016 [22 favorites]


I haven't met any who were trained to be the... dominant alpha.

They are trained to take control of a situation. That can be interpreted as trained to be the "dominant alpha".
posted by small_ruminant at 11:59 AM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


So. He's a vet. Maybe it's high time the GOP give a shit about the veterans returning from disastrous wars they started.

This is a layer cake of clusterfuck that has a long history. I am overwhelmed by the violence in this country and the apparent lack of will or principle by the GOP to do a single goddamn useful thing about it.

I don't have much hope that much is gonna change for the better either. Maybe in a few days or weeks I'll be able to process all this and feel like there's a path forward that's not "we're fucked".
posted by Annika Cicada at 12:06 PM on July 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


bearwife Until police officers as a group take steps to police their own and get rid of the evil ones, they're all collectively responsible.

This entire problem can be solved by police officers, the ones people keep claiming are mostly good, stopping it.

Seriously, that's it. This isn't a big mystery. This doesn't require a degree in sociology to figure out. All the reports from ex-cops who talk about the problem have one big point of commonality: they knew who the bad cops were. I don't think the people who write ex-cop memoirs are especially more perceptive than the average cop.

The bad actors are known. As long as the theoretical "good cops" persist in leaving the bad actors alone they share a collective responsibility for the acts of the bad cops.

Their **JOB** is to enforce the law, they don't get to just ignore that because the criminals in question are their fellow cops. If they are incapable of that then they need to say so publicly and ask for help.
posted by sotonohito at 12:10 PM on July 8, 2016 [31 favorites]


Yes, the shooter is a vet.

And armed police controlling and killing black men and women over minor infractions regularly can seem alot like war I would think.

I'm not so sure he was confused or mentally ill. Violence isn't the answer, but it isn't that far if a stretch mentally.
posted by AlexiaSky at 12:12 PM on July 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


It doesn't advance the cause of justice to name call, stereotype, or demonize police officers as a group.

This is true, but they're the only group that has deadly force at their disposal. When you call one, you never know if you're going to get a good guy or a bad guy, or a good guy on a bad day, or a bad guy on a good day. For a lot of people in a lot of situations, the risk is simply to great.

And like the other commentor said, when you see the videos of these guys, they're so far past having their shit together (over a busted-out taillight, no less), you have to wonder if they ever had it together. And there are hundreds of those videos. Can you say the same for EMTs?
posted by klanawa at 12:12 PM on July 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


Carmelo Anthony of the NY Knicks on Instagram:
I'm calling for all my fellow ATHLETES to step up and take charge. Go to your local officials, leaders, congressman, assemblymen/assemblywoman and demand change. There's NO more sitting back and being afraid of tackling and addressing political issues anymore. Those days are long gone. We have to step up and take charge. We can't worry about what endorsements we gonna lose or whose going to look at us crazy. I need your voices to be heard. We can demand change. We just have to be willing to. THE TIME IS NOW. IM all in. Take Charge. Take Action. DEMAND CHANGE. Peace7
This post was shared and supported by LeBron James and Gabrielle Union, actress and the wife of NBA star Dwyane Wade, tennis legend Boris Becker, WNBA star Chiney Ogwumike, and NFL player Andrew Hawkins, among others.
posted by palindromic at 12:13 PM on July 8, 2016 [38 favorites]


I'm betting if an EMT or firefighter lost their shit, they'd also lose their job. Police lose their shit and still keep their jobs.
posted by AFABulous at 12:18 PM on July 8, 2016 [13 favorites]


Report: Officer shot in Ballwin; manhunt underway

St Louis. Suspect in custody. Reports of officer dead.
posted by futz at 12:18 PM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


If you need some relief, many folks on Twitter recommending the #CarefreeBlackKids2k16 hashtag

Thank you so much for this. I definitely needed it.
posted by numaner at 12:23 PM on July 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


It's linked to a few times earlier in the thread, but that professor's response to a student criticizing him for wearing a BLM shirt is pretty satisfying. If you're going to call for a duel with a law professor and you get to pick your weapon, a written memo is definitely not the best choice.

I can't copy/paste from the Imagur link so I'll just distill two points of his that I thought were very useful in talking to people who have a problem with the Black Lives Matter slogan

1. There is no invisible "only" in front of the slogan. People who have a problem with it are inserting that "only" themselves. You can say Police Lives Matter and not be arguing that Firefighters, EMT's and soldiers should all be killed

2. There actually is an invisible preamble to the slogan Black Lives Matter, and it's along these lines: "Because of the brutalizing and killing of black people at the hands of the police and the indifference of society in general and the criminal justice system in particular, it is important that we say..." but unfortunately the preamble is too long to fit on a shirt
posted by pocketfullofrye at 12:23 PM on July 8, 2016 [49 favorites]


As horrible and despicable it is that these cops are killing, it's not just that. Dallas happened because they keep getting away with it.

I despise, with every fiber in my being, the use of "No Justice No Peace" as a rhetorical device. As an implicit threat. But that doesn't make it any less accurate of a prophecy.
posted by chimaera at 12:26 PM on July 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


Dallas happened because they keep getting away with it.

You can read the shooter's mind?
posted by AFABulous at 12:29 PM on July 8, 2016


The next time someone says ‘all lives matter,’ show them these 5 paragraphs

I've also seen it said as: "when someone says 'Save the Rainforests', you don't assume they mean 'fuck all other kinds of forests'".
posted by escape from the potato planet at 12:29 PM on July 8, 2016 [39 favorites]


I would like to know, actually, how the police positively identified the shooter on the scene and what their justification was for using lethal force to take him down, in the way they did. And I would certainly like to see video of that entire confrontation, as much of it as exists. It's the least we can ask whenever the police exercise the power to take a life that we as a society have entrusted them with.
posted by tobascodagama at 12:30 PM on July 8, 2016 [3 favorites]




"No Justice No Peace"

It's not a threat, it's a statement: "What looks to you like peace is not really peace at all because we do not have justice."

It is to true peace what a rictus is to a broad smile.
posted by tivalasvegas at 12:33 PM on July 8, 2016 [19 favorites]


It's little things like this that amaze me about the world and make 2016 just a little bit better.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:33 PM on July 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


A prompt response from the Nashville PD.

I don't want to give cookies for basic propriety, but it is refreshing to see a straightforward press release with all of the relevant information directly included, rather than some obfuscating "it has been brought to our attention that a badgeholding individual with a payroll relationship to the department may have been implicated in textual exclamations expressing a controversial perspective" bullshit.
posted by threeants at 12:34 PM on July 8, 2016 [9 favorites]


Jay Z, Swizz Beatz, and Miguel release anti-police violence songs

In before some right-wing politician or pundit calls for an end to these "violence songs" with anti-police rhetoric in them.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:35 PM on July 8, 2016


Jesus.

St. Louis Police Union Spokesman Jeff Roorda Blames Dallas Tragedy on Barack Obama

The post, which appears to now be deleted, showed hands drenched in blood and claimed in all caps "THIS BLOOD IS ON YOUR HANDS, MR. PRESIDENT."

Making matters worse, the police union's official account retweeted Roorda, adding, "I do hope you're happy @BarackObama."


Roorda's post was widely shared before it was taken down, and this morning there are calls for his resignation. Considering the man lives for this kind of controversy, and was once again invited to go on CNN this morning to bloviate and inflame racial tensions in a time of tragedy, we'd suggest not holding your breath.
posted by futz at 12:37 PM on July 8, 2016 [12 favorites]


Oh my god... Ms Reynold's daughter. To bear witness to such violence and provide comfort and compassion yet. So, so, heartbreaking.
posted by odinsdream at 12:42 PM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


If it’s unfair to judge all cops by the behavior of the worst cops, is it at least fair to judge them by the behavior of the people they elect to represent themselves?
posted by nicepersonality at 12:42 PM on July 8, 2016 [31 favorites]


What do black people have to do? Be absolutely perfect 100% of the time for the next ten years and then if police are still killing at that rate go tearfully on CNN asking why the police still kill them?

I mean all black people are asking for is for their lives to have some semblance of value when interacting with a police officer. All they want is for the default of any involuntary reflex to not be "HE'S REACHING FOR A GUN" *BANG*.

What the fuck do black people need to do to get a basic amount of decency in actions with the police?
posted by Talez at 12:44 PM on July 8, 2016 [33 favorites]


It is beyond disappointing to get this doubling down on the demonization of ALL police officers and the willingness to blame each and every one for the acts of the rogues. Yes, the rogues must be stopped. Yes, police killings should be rare and every one should be justified. And yes, the disproportionate killing of people of color needs to be addressed on an emergency basis.

But likewise, targeted killing of police officers needs to stop. (And come on, as long as guns are readily available, the police are sure not the only ones who are armed.) So does the stereotyping and demonization of the groups to which the police killers belong.

If you are going to fight racism and its killing toll, the tool you do not want to use is the same bigotry, aimed at another group full of good and well meaning people.
posted by bearwife at 12:44 PM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


But likewise, targeted killing of police officers needs to stop.

This is such a false equivalence that I can't even
posted by OverlappingElvis at 12:45 PM on July 8, 2016 [93 favorites]


I despise, with every fiber in my being, the use of "No Justice No Peace" as a rhetorical device. As an implicit threat. But that doesn't make it any less accurate of a prophecy.

tivalasvegas has it--you can see "no peace"=violence or you can see it as = disruption/protest. And it's a sort of philosophical statement too; when injustice continues, protest and resistance will too.
posted by emjaybee at 12:46 PM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


It is? Because dead police officers isn't a problem? Or because targeting of police officers isn't happening too? Maybe you should even.
posted by bearwife at 12:47 PM on July 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


tivalasvegas has it--you can see "no peace"=violence or you can see it as = disruption/protest. And it's a sort of philosophical statement too; when injustice continues, protest and resistance will too.

Sure, but as long as some people take it to mean "no peace"=violence, and some of those people, no matter how misguided or completely opposed to the movement the protest is for, do in fact, become violent, it's a problem. English is a pretty rich language and there are lots of things to chant. Promising "no peace" at peaceful protests is counterproductive.
posted by zachlipton at 12:49 PM on July 8, 2016


The idea that it is bigotry to have a problem with people who elect to join a career path that fails to self-regulate... I don't have words other than "dumb."

And I feel the same way about payday loan folks, and manage to not want either group to be murdered.
posted by phearlez at 12:50 PM on July 8, 2016 [24 favorites]


"_______ Law School is experiencing an unprecedented decline in bar passage rate."

If this letter is an example of the logic and writing skills of its students, I'm not hugely surprised. How nice that the prof's response includes some helpful remedial tutoring -- I'd like to send them one of those weird chocolate-covered fruit bouquets for the "dependent clause" paragraph alone.
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:51 PM on July 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


Leon Wolf (a white, conservative man) posted a refreshingly open and honest article on Redstate.com (of all places!): http://www.redstate.com/leon_h_wolf/2016/07/08/uncomfortable-reason-came-dallas-yesterday/

TL;DR He specifically identifies police brutality in minority communities and lack of justice and oversight as the catalyst for this unrest. This is obvious to most of us, but it's heartening to know that people outside of our 'liberal bubble' get it too.

And, I never thought I'd ever say this, especially about RedState, but....you should read the comments. People are coming out of the woodwork to support the author, and they're calling out people who are trying to bring up tired, uninformed arguments.

Honestly, after wallowing through all of this shit today, this was a bit of relief, from an unlikely source.
posted by chara at 12:51 PM on July 8, 2016 [18 favorites]


So what happened to the other three or four alleged coconspirators being held, now that everyone is reporting that Micah Johnson acted alone? Have they been released? Charged? Rendered to a Homan-Square-style black site? Did they ever exist or was it just more fucking cop bullshit?
posted by enn at 12:51 PM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


For as ugly and chaotic as things are getting and are only going to get worse I have a lot of long term hope. For every handful of white folks who double down on their racism after every police shooting, there is a white person who until now assumed everyone's police experience was the same as their own is now having their views challenged and altered by videos of these shootings. I do see it among some conservative acquaintances, and the redstate article linked to upthread is in the same vein.

Racism is the ugliest component of America's cultural inheritance and it will be with us for centuries, and even if the situations decays into urban breakdown and the national guard in the streets, which I can see happening, I will continue to have hope and I don't think it's wishful thinking.
posted by MillMan at 12:52 PM on July 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


If you are going to fight racism and its killing toll, the tool you do not want to use is the same bigotry, aimed at another group full of good and well meaning people.

It's not bigotry to point out that cops who are silent into the face of police brutality are part of the problem. And it's appalling to equate complacent police being judged for their inaction--inaction that contributes to the death of unarmed civilians--to real bigotry.
posted by Mavri at 12:53 PM on July 8, 2016 [27 favorites]


It is? Because dead police officers isn't a problem?

I would gently and quietly suggest that comparing the completely awful murder of cops that just occurred to the centuries of violence experience by blacks in America (often sanctioned by government) is not a useful comparison .

English is a pretty rich language and there are lots of things to chant. Promising "no peace" at peaceful protests is counterproductive.

Turning this is into an English criticism is not very helpful
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:53 PM on July 8, 2016 [48 favorites]


Hit-and-Run Driver Targets "Black Lives Matter" Protest in Ferguson (VIDEO)


The protesters can be seen holding signs and chanting peacefully in the street until the 5:50 mark, when a car horn sounds and a white Chrysler sedan pulls into view. The car stops briefly, but then accelerates forward. Weeks, holding a "Black Lives Matter" sign in his right hand, has his left hand on the hood as he backpedals away from the moving car.

When another protester steps up onto the bumper, the driver hits the gas. Weeks and the other man somersault into the street as the Chrysler plows forward. The driver, who appeared to be a middle-aged white woman, speeds off out of sight.

Witnesses say police and paramedics refused to help after the driver hit Weeks, leaving two friends to drive him to the hospital. A city spokesman didn't return a request for comment on Thursday evening, but a Ferguson police officer rejected protesters' account, questioning whether there had been a hit-and-run at all.

posted by futz at 12:53 PM on July 8, 2016 [16 favorites]


The rapper on that Swizz Beats track is Scarface, who is usually worth listening to.
posted by lkc at 12:54 PM on July 8, 2016


But likewise, targeted killing of police officers needs to stop.

Essentially no one disagrees with the idea that people shouldn't be trying to kill cops. But this situation in Dallas is remarkable in precisely the way that the cops-shoot-black-man situations that prompted this thread in the first place aren't. And that unremarkable fact—that a systemic disproportionate rate of unnecessary killings of citizens, black men and boys in particular, by cops is just a thing we keep seeing—is part of why I think people are not feeling receptive to repeated attempts to make this specifically and particularly about the danger to cops from citizens, much as that danger is itself a shitty thing that folks who are strongly cop-adjacent have legitimate emotional stakes in.

This is such a difficult, charged subject and situation that there is no good clean easy through-line to agreement. There is no simple balance of issues that will leave everyone feeling basically okay. Things aren't okay. But I think being aware of the context from which folks' anger and at times infelicity of expression about the state of cops-shooting-citizens is coming is part of getting through a conversation like this. And at the moment directing the conversation to "no but people shouldn't shoot cops" again when basically nobody thinks people should be shooting cops is not really crediting that context, even if I can understand why it comes up.
posted by cortex at 12:54 PM on July 8, 2016 [59 favorites]


Honestly, after wallowing through all of this shit today, this was a bit of relief, from an unlikely source.

“It took me a long time, and a number of people talking to me through the years to get a sense of this. If you are a normal, white American, the truth is you don’t understand being black in America and you instinctively under-estimate the level of discrimination and the level of additional risk.”

Newt Gingrich, folks
posted by lalex at 12:56 PM on July 8, 2016 [39 favorites]


It is? Because dead police officers isn't a problem? Or because targeting of police officers isn't happening too? Maybe you should even.

When someone shoots a police officer the families and other officers can expect the full weight of the prosecution to come down on them. No grand juries as a political escape hatch, no deals, the jury is traditionally biased in favor of the police. The victim will be given justice by the system.

If you're someone shot by a cop in cold blood your family members and other members of your community can expect the prosecution to defend them tooth and nail. They'll leave the decision for a grand jury and throw it to give themselves political cover. They'll find bullshit pretexts to remove sympathetic jury members and if all else fails they'll undercharge and offer a deal. The victim will be failed by the system.

This is why black people protest. This is why they're angry.

The cops will get justice. History shows us that we should not expect Alton B. Sterling or Philando Castile to receive justice.
posted by Talez at 12:56 PM on July 8, 2016 [83 favorites]


Because dead police officers isn't a problem? Or because targeting of police officers isn't happening too? Maybe you should even.

Because you're comparing decades of systemic brutality resulting in hundreds dead to one or two isolated, horrible incidents. It's incredibly dishonest.
posted by Mavri at 12:56 PM on July 8, 2016 [31 favorites]


Not wanting random killing of police officers is entirely compatible with not wanting random killings of anyone and greater scrutiny of killings by police officers.
posted by Artw at 12:56 PM on July 8, 2016 [15 favorites]


Witnesses say police and paramedics refused to help after the driver hit Weeks, leaving two friends to drive him to the hospital. A city spokesman didn't return a request for comment on Thursday evening, but a Ferguson police officer rejected protesters' account, questioning whether there had been a hit-and-run at all.

Plus ça change...
posted by zombieflanders at 12:58 PM on July 8, 2016


for the actions of the rogues.

sure are a lot of rogues out there...
posted by futz at 12:59 PM on July 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


people are not feeling receptive to repeated attempts to make this specifically and particularly about the danger to cops from citizens

Good grief, neither am I. I don't think I've said anything to minimize how incredibly serious and immediate the threat to people of color is from police encounters. And I'm going to be the last person to say that racism is a deeper and more severe problem, by orders of magnitude, than targeting police officers.

But what I object to here, and I am truly upset that no one else is objecting to, is the willingness to downplay how much the dynamics of blaming all police for the murders of people like Sterling and Castile fed right into these latest killings of these police officers. We have got to stop doing that. Not all officers are responsible, particularly not line officers who were doing their job in Texas of protecting protestors. Can't we call for accountability for murders of people of color without veering into using the same kind of skewed/bigoted thinking that feeds racism all over our society?
posted by bearwife at 1:01 PM on July 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


I just remembered something. I was walking home the other day, before Alton Sterling was killed, and a Black kid, maybe 19 or 20, was riding his bike in the opposite direction. As he approached he waved at me like he knew me, smiled big and yelled Hey! just as he passed. I said Hey! back and waved. I have no idea why he cheerfully greeted a stranger like that, it's not the norm in my neighborhood, but his enthusiasm was infectious. Now I have so much heartache knowing what he could potentially face.
posted by AFABulous at 1:01 PM on July 8, 2016 [8 favorites]


I despise, with every fiber in my being, the use of "No Justice No Peace" as a rhetorical device. As an implicit threat. But that doesn't make it any less accurate of a prophecy.

So let's talk about the history of the phrase. It's been used in protests since at least the 1970's, and I'm nearly positive that it originates in a speech given by Martin Luther King, Jr., on December 14, 1967. Dr. King was speaking outside a California prison where Vietnam war protesters, both men and women, were being held. During the speech he spent time comparing the fight for civil rights with the antiwar movement and noted that they had similar goals.

What he said was: "And I might say that I see these two struggles as one struggle. There can be no justice without peace. And there can be no peace without justice."

When those in authority -- be they a government waging war or a police force that treats one group of citizens differently than another -- perpetuate injustice then people have a right to protest. They have a right to stand up and have their voices heard. As Dr. King notes, they have a right to break unjust laws.

"No Justice, No Peace" isn't a threat. It's not a call for violence. It's a call for people to do the right thing, whether they are privileged or not. Directly affected or not.

King also said: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
posted by zarq at 1:02 PM on July 8, 2016 [85 favorites]


He specifically identifies police brutality in minority communities and lack of justice and oversight as the catalyst for this unrest

I was reminded of a line from another, older document:
The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.... For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:


The NRA issued a statement on the Dallas murders of police. No statement on the murder of Philando Castile, while investigation is ongoing. No apparent statement from Gun Owners of America, while Second Amendment Foundation says: ""We are cognizant of the racial overtones arising from Mr. Castile's death," Gottlieb noted. "The concerns of our members, and honest gun owners everywhere, go even deeper. Exercising our right to bear arms should not translate to a death sentence over something so trivial as a traffic stop for a broken tail light, and we are going to watch this case with a magnifying glass.""

Why the NRA isn’t commenting on the Philando Castile police shooting
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:02 PM on July 8, 2016 [13 favorites]


“It took me a long time, and a number of people talking to me through the years to get a sense of this. If you are a normal, white American, the truth is you don’t understand being black in America and you instinctively under-estimate the level of discrimination and the level of additional risk.”

Newt Gingrich, folks


I appreciate the sentiment but, being Newt, he couldn't help but equate being white with being "normal". The obvious corollary being that anyone who isn't white isn't a normal American.

You tried, Newt. You tried.
posted by Justinian at 1:04 PM on July 8, 2016 [48 favorites]




That's literally disgusting. Screw the person who said that.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:07 PM on July 8, 2016 [9 favorites]




I appreciate the sentiment but, being Newt, he couldn't help but equate being white with being "normal".


To be fair, I guess, if I must, to Newt, a lot of white people do this. A LOT. See also all the people who write about being "nice little white ladies" or "reg'lar white folk" or whatever on Metafilter.
posted by zutalors! at 1:07 PM on July 8, 2016 [11 favorites]


i've reported that tweet by dallas PD to twitter as targeted harassment and it seems a lot of others are doing the same. not that twitter has a great track record on things like this, but it's better than nothing i suppose
posted by burgerrr at 1:08 PM on July 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


I've been following this and now I'm seeing in this thread how other emergency services react to dangerous situations.

There's a convent nearby where I sometimes volunteer. The nuns host a free meal for anyone. They made a vow to do that and they are the most beautiful women I've met.

Of course, they get people affected by drugs, alcohol and mental illness, and something inevitably happens. I was in the kitchen when something happened, and six foot tall male me reacts and is blocked by a Sister. They can handle it themselves.

How? With smiles, love, vulnerability and soothing words. Their trick is they are completely non-threatening. My physical presence alone would have escalated things. In the end they calmed the guy down, put some food in him, and quite literally prayed for him.

The striking thing is they knew I'd hear the commotion and come. But it's not the time for brawn.
posted by adept256 at 1:11 PM on July 8, 2016 [22 favorites]


Where's the NRA asking why the Dallas PD continues to harass a law-abiding gun owner?
posted by zachlipton at 1:11 PM on July 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


I've always read the "nice little white lady" or "normal white American" to be a class shibboleth.
posted by Sara C. at 1:11 PM on July 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


Mashable asked a spokesperson for Dallas PD over the phone why the tweet was still online. "Because we're keeping it on there," came the reply.

And what was the rest of the conversation? Did anyone ask why is being being kept on there and/or what the policy about deleting tweets is? Where's the transcript of the conversation?

I ask these questions not as a defense of DPD, but because the Mashable story seems very incomplete
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:12 PM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


Snoop Dogg, The Game lead march to LAPD headquarters:
At the graduation ceremony, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck exhorted the new officers to not let what happened in Dallas interfere with their mandate to uphold the law fairly for all.

"This is not about black lives. This is not about brown lives. This is not about blue lives. This is about America," said an emotional Beck, speaking slowly and deliberately, his badge covered with a strip of black mourning tape. "This is about a country based on a promise that does not recognize a difference in the shades of humanity. You are the symbol of that promise."

He told the graduates that after they report for their first day of work on Sunday they will encounter people experiencing the worst days of their lives.

"Given their circumstances you might act in a similar fashion," he said. "Have empathy. Look into people's hearts. ... Help them."

Beck asked God to bless the city of Dallas. He also said more than 200 Los Angeles police officers have died in the line of duty, including 60 since he joined the force 40 years ago.
posted by zachlipton at 1:14 PM on July 8, 2016 [16 favorites]


Thank you, lkc. I scrolled past those tracks because I'm at work but that ensures I will go back and listen when I'm done.
posted by Bacon Bit at 1:15 PM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


I ask these questions not as a defense of DPD, but because the Mashable story seems very incomplete

the link in that section goes to media relations for the dallas pd. my assumption is they're encouraging other people to keep asking the question/related questions. give 'em a call, see what they say.
posted by nadawi at 1:17 PM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


The police have bombs sitting on the shelf just in case they need them?
posted by JackFlash at 1:20 PM on July 8, 2016


Bombs are relatively easy to make.
posted by I-baLL at 1:21 PM on July 8, 2016


The police have bombs sitting on the shelf just in case they need them?

One of the ways to deal with a bomb is, paradoxically, to blow it up.
posted by Etrigan at 1:22 PM on July 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


my assumption is they're encouraging other people to keep asking the question/related questions.

That isn't journalism, that's just filling space.

give 'em a call, see what they say.

Oh, you're calling also?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:25 PM on July 8, 2016


CNN's now reporting that authorities have concluded Johnson was the only shooter.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:25 PM on July 8, 2016


I was really hoping this wasn't the start of something horrible and now I'm not sure.
The Associated Press @AP (3:22pm · 8 Jul 2016)
BREAKING: Authorities: Man called 911 in south Georgia to report break-in, then ambushed, shot officer who came to investigate.
posted by AFABulous at 1:29 PM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


In other news, Georgia governor Nathan Deal continues to be a horrible piece of shit:
The anti-police incident to which I referred was the shooting of law enforcement officers, as that was the stated intent of the shooters, and not of those peacefully demonstrating.
Yeah, you're not fooling anyone with that bullshit, asshole.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:31 PM on July 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


Oh, you're calling also?

i felt the article was clear and informative. you're the one who has additional questions.
posted by nadawi at 1:36 PM on July 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


Adam Gopnik: The Horrific, Predictable Result of a Widely Armed Citizenry
Last night’s tragedy was also the grotesque reductio ad absurdum of the claim that it takes a good guy with a gun to stop a bad guy with a gun. There were nothing but good guys and they had nothing but guns, and five died anyway, as helpless as the rest of us.

Once again, the difference in policy views is clear, and can be coolly stated: those who insist on the right to concealed weapons, to the open carrying of firearms, to the availability of military weapons—to the essentially unlimited dissemination of guns—guarantee that the murders will continue. They have no plan to end them, except to return fire, with results we know. The people who don’t want the regulations that we know will help curb (not end) violent acts and help make them rare (not non-existent) have reconciled themselves to the mass murder of police officers, as well as of innocent men and women during traffic stops and of long, ghostly rows of harmless civilians and helpless children. The country is now clearly divided among those who want the killings and violence to stop and those who don’t. In the words of the old activist song, which side are you on?
posted by theodolite at 1:41 PM on July 8, 2016 [40 favorites]


Seeing that black police officer twisted in tears just hurts so much to see. How awful he must feel.
posted by rhythm_queen at 1:41 PM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


They are trained to take control of a situation. That can be interpreted as trained to be the "dominant alpha".

Compare the stereotypical Bobby's "Here, here. What's this all about?" and the screaming of a big city American cop. That's the difference between asserting authority and being an ass.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 1:41 PM on July 8, 2016 [5 favorites]


why the tweet [calling hughes a suspect] was still online. "Because we're keeping it on there," came the reply.
One of the worst of the many failings of the English language is that we have a single word which means both "due to what cause" and "in service of what aim".

No elementary school curriculum should be complete without an explanation of the distinction. While we're at it, we should make sure that "Fallacy of Equivocation" is a component of the critical thinking textbooks for middle schools. Finally, maybe "how to get a dangerously irresponsible PR flack fired" could be squeezed into a high school course? At least an elective.
posted by roystgnr at 1:45 PM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


5 things you need to know about the Dallas shooting suspect...

Ugh. He is not just ex-military. That makes him sound like he protested his duties, betrayed his country and did not serve. He is a war VETERAN. He is a black male veteran who is an example of the ways our country lets both black men and veterans down. We need to provide more support to our soldiers and our veterans. We need to provide more support and safety for black men and women. We need to provide more support, training, and safety to our professional officers. We need more doctors, social workers, educators, oversight, accountability, gun regulation. This man made the wrong and horrific choice, but being an attacker does not exclude him from also being a victim.
posted by soundproof at 1:47 PM on July 8, 2016 [18 favorites]


So let's talk about the history of the phrase. It's been used in protests since at least the 1970's, and I'm nearly positive that it originates in a speech given by Martin Luther King, Jr., on December 14, 1967

Considering his schooling/profession, it's entirely possible his phrase originates in the axiomatic biblical association of justice with peace in Isaiah 32:17 that 'the product of justice (tzedakah) shall be peace (shalom)'.
posted by perhapsolutely at 1:47 PM on July 8, 2016 [14 favorites]


> Compare the stereotypical Bobby's "Here, here. What's this all about?" and the screaming of a big city American cop. That's the difference between asserting authority and being an ass.

One of the ways I feel really alienated from my country is this tendency to mistake bluster for power. I don't know where it started, and I don't know why it started — it seems somewhat new to me — but Americans really do think that yelling and chestpounding is a way to express power. I don't get it at all — it absolutely reads as weakness to me — but on the whole we really do think that calmness and levelheadedness are signs of weakness, and that hotheaded aggression is a sign of power rather than like a sign of loss of insecurity/loss of control.

It seems totally backwards to me, but apparently that's how we do things here now.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 1:50 PM on July 8, 2016 [43 favorites]


(likely my inability to read sloppy hotheaded aggression as power is key to my inability to understand Trump's appeal...)
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 1:52 PM on July 8, 2016 [11 favorites]


So if there is one shooter who is now dead, then have the 3 others taken into custody been released? The PD should let the world know that.

(Note: I'm not calling for identification of the 3 who are/were in custody, no one needs that info at the best of times and given what happened to open-carry guy, this is not the best of times in that context).
posted by lalochezia at 2:03 PM on July 8, 2016


(likely my inability to read sloppy hotheaded aggression as power is key to my inability to understand Trump's appeal...)

"Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing."

"What the hell are you talking about?" Yossarian shouted at her in bewildered, furious protest. "How did you know it was Catch-22? Who the hell told you it was Catch-22?"

"The soldiers with the hard white hats and clubs. The girls were crying. 'Did we do anything wrong?' they said. The men said no and pushed them away out the door with the ends of their clubs. 'Then why are you chasing us out?' the girls said. 'Catch 22,' the men said. All they kept saying was 'Catch-22, Catch-22. What does it mean, Catch 22? What is Catch-22?"

"Didn't they show it to you?" Yossarian demanded, stamping about in anger and distress. "Didn't you even make them read it?" "They don't have to show us Catch-22," the old woman answered. "The law says they don't have to."

"What law says they don't have to?" "Catch-22."
posted by delfin at 2:03 PM on July 8, 2016 [9 favorites]


The Dallas Police finally took Hughes' picture down off their Twitter feed. Or rather, it's gone - I don't know if they removed it or Twitter did or what.
posted by cashman at 2:04 PM on July 8, 2016 [7 favorites]


No. It's still there.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 2:07 PM on July 8, 2016


the axiomatic biblical association of justice with peace in Isaiah 32:17

Which itself is probably a derivative of Psalm 85:

I will listen to what God the Lord says;
he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants—
but let them not turn to folly.

Surely his salvation is near those who fear him,
that his glory may dwell in our land.

Love and faithfulness meet together;
righteousness and peace kiss each other.


Faithfulness springs forth from the earth,
and righteousness looks down from heaven.

The Lord will indeed give what is good,
and our land will yield its harvest.

Righteousness goes before him
and prepares the way for his steps.
posted by tivalasvegas at 2:08 PM on July 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


The one linked from the mashable article is 404'ing for me, at least.
posted by lkc at 2:08 PM on July 8, 2016


Oh, sorry, looks like it's in my cache.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 2:09 PM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Leaving this here in case it's helpful to anyone who is struggling: 4 Self-Care Resources for Days When the World is Terrible
posted by soonertbone at 2:09 PM on July 8, 2016 [10 favorites]




urbanwhaleshark's link is 404ing for me as well.
posted by I-baLL at 2:10 PM on July 8, 2016


...Well I just watched that hit-and-run where a lady literally just plowed her car through a mass of peaceful protesters.

It's this complete breakdown of a shared sense of society that honestly terrifies me most. This can rapidly, rapidly devolve. I can't even process all of this awfulness. I just can't. Forgive me for not having exactly the words I should probably have. I am grasping.
posted by odinsdream at 2:10 PM on July 8, 2016 [15 favorites]


From the DPD: investigative update. Not too much new information, although it does state that the suspect was a "loner" which seems to contradict everything else we've heard. Unless they meant it as a personality description, it's a little unclear.
posted by perplexion at 2:10 PM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think it will turn out he was acting alone and all the coordination stuff will turn out to be fog of war mistakes and miscommunication.
posted by Justinian at 2:15 PM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


From the Stranger: Seattle police union blames "minority movement" for last night's Dallas shootings.

Jesus fucking Christ. Not only does SPOG blame a "minority movement," they appropriate We Shall Overcome in doing so. Sick.
posted by Existential Dread at 2:16 PM on July 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


Wait, what the hell does Professor Griff have to do with this?
posted by lkc at 2:16 PM on July 8, 2016


What the hell does this mean: "The suspect’s Facebook account included the following names and information: Fahed Hassen, Richard GRIFFIN aka Professor Griff, GRIFFIN embraces a radical form of Afrocentrism, and GRIFFIN wrote a book A Warriors Tapestry."
posted by threeturtles at 2:17 PM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Like, a lady ran over a bunch of people who are apparently right outside some police building, or courthouse, or something. Tons of them called 911. Nobody came out. EMT's refused to show up without a police escort. To a peaceful protest of maybe 40 people literally milling about. And. Just. What.
posted by odinsdream at 2:17 PM on July 8, 2016 [21 favorites]


Hit post too quick. From the "investigative update":

The suspect’s Facebook account included the following names and information: Fahed Hassen, Richard GRIFFIN aka Professor Griff, GRIFFIN embraces a radical form of Afrocentrism, and GRIFFIN wrote a book A Warriors Tapestry.
posted by lkc at 2:18 PM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


They're banging on the doors of Fire Station #1 for medical assistance. No response.
posted by odinsdream at 2:18 PM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Wait, what the hell does Professor Griff have to do with this?

The shooter, Michah Johnson, can be seen in a photo with him on his Facebook page...which has been updated, to make it private, so the public can no longer see the photos.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:20 PM on July 8, 2016


There are staff in the fire station, with an ambulance inside. Cops are videoing it from the courthouse window, just observing dispassionately while protesters are run over by a vehicle.
posted by odinsdream at 2:20 PM on July 8, 2016 [10 favorites]


aka the last asiatic disciple.
posted by lkc at 2:20 PM on July 8, 2016


odinsdream, where is this happening?
posted by Existential Dread at 2:21 PM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


A woman in a motorized wheelchair is making her way around to the back of the building to try and get assistance. They're literally not budging.
posted by odinsdream at 2:21 PM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


just observing dispassionately

It's the Black Lives [Don't] Matter movement. Also known as the status quo.
posted by klanawa at 2:22 PM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]




The Johnson/Griff photo can be seen here.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 2:23 PM on July 8, 2016


Oddly enough, now the original Mashable article complaining about the DPD tweet is out of date. Wonder how long it'll take them to update it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:23 PM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


It happened last night, right? the video I posted is what you are referring to?
posted by futz at 2:23 PM on July 8, 2016


Now they're literally laughing in the victim's faces.
posted by odinsdream at 2:24 PM on July 8, 2016


Yes I suppose it's an old livestream. I am just watching it now.
posted by odinsdream at 2:24 PM on July 8, 2016


I mean, is Fahed Hassan anyone of any relevance or did they just literally say "well he has a FB friend with an Arabic name"?
posted by threeturtles at 2:25 PM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


I think people are confused because you are posting and reacting as though it is happening in real time.
posted by futz at 2:25 PM on July 8, 2016 [19 favorites]


Oh boy. I'm sure some rather ridiculous portrayals of the S1Ws are coming.
posted by cashman at 2:25 PM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oddly enough, now the original Mashable article complaining about the DPD tweet is out of date.

No, it's not:
UPDATE July 8 2:19 PT - The tweet has now been deleted.
posted by Lexica at 2:26 PM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


Ambulances not coming to Black neighborhoods in a timely fashion is a real common thing, common enough that a group of nurses here in Oakland have set up an organization called People's Community Medics.

I'm sure the first responders not responding to the hit and run victims think they're making a really clever point. And, well, maybe they are. Maybe, no fooling, we (for values of "we" now including white people) can't rely on them anymore, and have to look elsewhere when we need help.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 2:28 PM on July 8, 2016 [10 favorites]


I think it will turn out he was acting alone and all the coordination stuff will turn out to be fog of war mistakes and miscommunication.

Quite probable, but much like so many of the other norms that have been broken in our sociopolitical life in the last six months it represents a real ratcheting up of the tension between the races.

The political imagination in these United States now encompasses the idea of a gun battle between black and brown protestors and white police officers, not as some feverish race war fantasy/wankfest but as something that could happen, like, next Tuesday. This hasn't been the case ever in my lifetime.
posted by tivalasvegas at 2:29 PM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]




I'm sure the first responders not responding to the hit and run victims think they're making a really clever point. And, well, maybe they are. Maybe, no fooling, we (for values of "we" now including white people) can't rely on them anymore, and have to look elsewhere when we need help.

I wonder what happens when people decide to start setting up parallel justice systems, too.
posted by indubitable at 2:33 PM on July 8, 2016


I wonder what happens when people decide to start setting up parallel justice systems, too.

That is what is happening now. This is what it looks like.
posted by klanawa at 2:36 PM on July 8, 2016 [25 favorites]


bomb materials found at shooter's home -cnn
posted by futz at 2:36 PM on July 8, 2016


You mean like they've already set up parallel schools, churches, neighborhoods, entire cities?

Yeah. It's happening.
posted by tivalasvegas at 2:36 PM on July 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


> I wonder what happens when people decide to start setting up parallel justice systems, too.

given historical precedents, I'd guess that it goes okay for a little while, but then there's a bloody civil war, and some purges, and then there's mass famine, and then eventually a dictator takes over and sets up a cult of personality and does some more purges, and then everything stays sucky for a real long time.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 2:38 PM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


I wonder what happens when people decide to start setting up parallel justice systems, too.

Not only has that already happened, I think they get dismantled with far more deliberate speed than other parallel systems people have setup over the years.
posted by zachlipton at 2:38 PM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


I sort of meant less of the "separate but equal" sense and more of the "what arises to fill the vacuum" sense.
posted by indubitable at 2:41 PM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


While hardly the most pressing thing in the past few days, that is fucking criminal in a number of different ways if true and had better be investigated and prosecuted.
posted by ctmf at 2:42 PM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


I think people are confused because you are posting and reacting as though it is happening in real time.

My apologies for any confusion. I am not well today.
posted by odinsdream at 2:43 PM on July 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


what arises to fill the vacuum"

Oh. Yeah, it's neofeudalism. That's the word you're looking for.
posted by tivalasvegas at 2:45 PM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


if we have to do neofeudalism can we at least get sigils?

three plates of beans saltant on a field of blue
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 2:48 PM on July 8, 2016 [25 favorites]


Re: the assassination by robot

Given what we know, I have no problem with how DPD resolved this.

Also with the "given what we know" caveat, I absolutely do. A guy holed up in a parking garage with a gun by himself, surrounded by police, is not imminently dangerous. One option is waiting. It's now on the police to show that waiting or any other course of action not requiring deadly force would have been unacceptable.

While I sympathize with the "they just lost 10 men, give them a break" theory... No. The rules of deadly force (to the extent that DPD even has any) don't allow for "but I was angry."
posted by ctmf at 2:51 PM on July 8, 2016 [56 favorites]


Saltant beans. I see what you did.
posted by perhapsolutely at 2:53 PM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


> Saltant beans. I see what you did.

nah, you're overthinking it.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 2:54 PM on July 8, 2016 [20 favorites]


I'm sure the first responders not responding to the hit and run victims think they're making a really clever point. And, well, maybe they are. Maybe, no fooling, we (for values of "we" now including white people) can't rely on them anymore, and have to look elsewhere when we need help.

For what it's worth, "What to do Instead of Calling the Police" seems like a good round up of strategies for doing this in the case of the police in particular.
posted by invitapriore at 2:57 PM on July 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


For anyone feeling overwhelmed emotionally by events of the last few days, please give yourself permission to take a break from breaking news, the internet, and/or social media for as long as you feel you are able, whether it be for the rest of the day, a few hours, or even just 45 minutes. We sometimes forget that we have the option to unplug from the stream of noise and unpleasantness for a little while, if only to unwind for a bit and recharge our batteries.
posted by Atom Eyes at 3:00 PM on July 8, 2016 [17 favorites]


"what arises to fill the vacuum" sense

I don't think this and de jure segregation are meaningfully different. Most of the segregation that still exists today came about as a "what arises to fill the vacuum" when white people would not treat black people as human. The white real estate establishment* won't work with black people, so ghettos result. White church leaders exclude black worshippers, so churches are segregated. White-run universities won't admit black students, so Historically Black Colleges spring up. Even a lot of the old de jure Jim Crow segregation probably falls into this category, of resourceful African-Americans providing for their own in the face of a white supremacist society.

I'll put my own body on the line before I let us go back there.

*I started with "white landlords" and then remembered redlining, I went to "white realtors" and then remembered restrictive covenants, so this is the best I could do.
posted by Sara C. at 3:15 PM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]



Also with the "given what we know" caveat, I absolutely do. A guy holed up in a parking garage with a gun by himself, surrounded by police, is not imminently dangerous. One option is waiting. It's now on the police to show that waiting or any other course of action not requiring deadly force would have been unacceptable.


well, they thought he had bombs.
posted by zutalors! at 3:16 PM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Did they think he could and would remotely trigger them in non-secured places to blow up more people? We don't know, but simply having a couple of pipe bombs in his pocket doesn't count.
posted by ctmf at 3:24 PM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


Also, having planted timed bombs (not under his control) elsewhere doesn't count. In fact, that's more reason to take him alive and/or negotiate to find out where the bombs are.
posted by ctmf at 3:26 PM on July 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


It's now on the police to show that waiting or any other course of action not requiring deadly force would have been unacceptable.

Yeah, good luck with that. There probably isn't a court in the land and very few groups that are going to publicly second guess the DPD over this.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:28 PM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


"I started with "white landlords" and then remembered redlining, I went to "white realtors" and then remembered restrictive covenants, so this is the best I could do."

Redlining had nothing to do with realtors or with individuals selectively refusing service/homes to blacks; redlining was a Federal Housing Administration practice beginning in 1934 (and continuing until the Fair Housing Act of 1968 and various follow-on legislation that ensured enforcement) that refused to insure mortgage loans to homebuyers in predominantly black neighborhoods or racially-mixed neighborhoods, which were deemed bad credit risks by the FHA primarily because of their racial makeup. The FHA informed banks and municipalities it would not insure loans in mixed-race neighborhoods and recommended racially-restrictive zoning ordinances for cities that wanted access to federal insurance for home loans.

It was considerably more pernicious and systematic than "realtors." Racial ghettos are not a result of low-level individual racist decisions; they are a deliberate federal policy pursued for 40 years to segregate blacks and strip them of housing wealth.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 3:32 PM on July 8, 2016 [77 favorites]


I think they thought he had IEDs with him that he would blow up and I think they thought that based on things he said. i think they thought if they went in after him, he would trigger the IEDs and blow up a lot more cops along with himself.

I'm not saying all of that is true and they can't possibly be lying or anything like that, but it's a completely plausible scenario to me and I can understand actions taken under that version of events.
posted by zutalors! at 3:34 PM on July 8, 2016


Is there an established timeline of events? Like did they proceed to blow him up after the sweeps confirmed that there were no bombs planted in the area?
posted by numaner at 3:43 PM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


but it's a completely plausible scenario to me

maybe if you've seen Speed or Bloodfist VI or whatever too many times
posted by edeezy at 3:53 PM on July 8, 2016 [5 favorites]


I Googled for a text source for the video about a car deliberately driving through a Ferguson protest that odinsdream was watching, and it wasn't immediately obvious whether it was the one from 2014, the one from 2015, or the one from 2016. Jesus.
posted by clawsoon at 3:54 PM on July 8, 2016 [19 favorites]


I think they thought he had IEDs with him that he would blow up and I think they thought that based on things he said. i think they thought if they went in after him, he would trigger the IEDs and blow up a lot more cops along with himself.

Frankly, if they can drive a robot up to him and kill him with explosives, they can drive a robot up to him with non-lethal arms as well. Incapacitating tear gas, a taser, etc. If the non-lethal arms don't to the trick, then they're still in the same position as they would have been without a bomb on a bot. If the suspect leaves his shelter to attack, they have an overwhelming arsenal at hand to deal death. If not, then they can rely on the tools they have up to this point: negotiation, isolation, and patience. If the suspect has hostages, damn I would hope they wouldn't use robot-based explosives because of significant risk of collateral damage and death.

The most troubling aspect here to me is that the police have a track record of turning non-lethal force into tools for compliance, and resorting to lethal force as a first resort where non-lethal force might have been appropriate. If they are enabled to use robots to kill, expect a lot more uses of lethal force on suspects not proven to be guilty (see also our military drone program). I find this a deeply troubling escalation.
posted by Existential Dread at 3:56 PM on July 8, 2016 [31 favorites]


yeah the lethal robot thing is no doubt a problem. I just think "oh it was probably just pipe bombs" or "people are watching too many video games" is just making too many assumptions about what some people on internets would totally do if they were DPD.
posted by zutalors! at 3:58 PM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


I don't see the bomb robot as any different than a drone strike on our own soil - The only difference between the bomb robot and a drone is speed and altitude. It wasn't self defense, it was an execution. That is not justice, and it is not anything that we should accept from those that we task with enforcing law and order in our communities. Shooting the police does not and should not give them freedom to resort to questionable wartime tactics - We MUST hold them to a different and significantly higher standard than this.
posted by MysticMCJ at 4:00 PM on July 8, 2016 [19 favorites]


Returning to an earlier topic, briefly: I'm no huge fan of Jacobin, but they've got a great article about why police 'unions' are bad over here. Cops are the enforcement arm of capitalism and white supremacy. They are fundamentally management, NOT labor, not even those cops who claim to be "working class". Unions are not for cops.

Also:

.

(For the poor DART officer.)
posted by adrienneleigh at 4:08 PM on July 8, 2016 [12 favorites]


I'm willing to entertain the idea that taking out the shooter in the way they did was justified, from an innocent-until-proven-guilty standpoint. But I would like the question of whether they were justified to be answered, definitively, in a setting where all the evidence is present and can be weighed appropriately, and both the evidence and the result are a matter of public record.

I'm describing a trial, obviously.

The whole idea of trial by jury is a check on the power of the State, as embodied in the officers of who enforce the Laws of the State. We already have a system -- however imperfect and biased toward the police -- for this kind of accountability, but we need to be using it a lot more broadly than we are.
posted by tobascodagama at 4:13 PM on July 8, 2016 [7 favorites]


Also, the police citing details from the guy's Facebook is a bullshit move. Fuck that.
posted by tobascodagama at 4:15 PM on July 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


See literally all the comments upthread before the Dallas shootings began. The police in this country have not remotely earned the benefit of the doubt when it comes to claims that lethal force was necessary. And this was not the usual split-second decision we're usually told we can't second guess because we don't know what it's like. This was a conscious and considered decision for extrajudicial killing in the name of public safety. Maybe there truly was no other alternative, and they should, not today, but in a considered and logical way, have to lay out why and convince people of that. But yes, it is on the police to justify whey they purposefully exploded even a murderer.
posted by zachlipton at 4:16 PM on July 8, 2016 [21 favorites]


"It wasn't self defense, it was an execution."

This is really at the heart of the matter for me: police are not supposed to be judge, jury and executioner. They're supposed defuse situations, apprehend possible perpetrators, if necessary, and let the judicial branch sort things out. You don't get to be a police officer and somehow expect to not have to take any risks. You want that power and authority? You must accept the risk that comes with having to sort out a situation without engaging in an arms race. This is law enforcement, not war. A police officers primary objective when dealing with an armed suspect should be to apprehend them alive, not to match or exceed firepower and kill them.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 4:16 PM on July 8, 2016 [34 favorites]


Existential Dread, that's what I was saying earlier-- why couldn't they use something less lethal. I am also very disturbed by this decision to use the robot in a new way. This is just the beginning and I'm sure all the major cities are going to follow suit unless there is a real public outcry. The problem is that few people want to stand up for a cop killer and nuance gets left in the dust (I'm not standing up for a cop killer, I am standing up for all the future victims of this new police tool.) Remember how tasers were supposed to cut down on fatalities?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:18 PM on July 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


I don't see the bomb robot as any different than a drone strike on our own soil

It isn't necessarily different. But drone strikes on US soil are illegal because of posse comitatus not because of anything intrinsic to drone strikes. Not that any of us want to see even more militarized police departments running around with armed drones, obviously.

I'm torn on this one. Would the police have been justified in hand-throwing a grenade at this guy in this situation? If they would have been, I'm not sure the fact that a robot did the throwing should matter that much. But I'm not sure they would have been justified in throwing a grenade at him if he was just holed up and not actively engaged in a firefight.

It really depends on what precisely was occurring when they did it and what they knew about the situation.
posted by Justinian at 4:19 PM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


For what it's worth, "What to do Instead of Calling the Police" seems like a good round up of strategies for doing this in the case of the police in particular.

Thanks, this looks great.
posted by threeants at 4:21 PM on July 8, 2016


To put it another way, Governor Abbott said tonight that Micah Johnson has "received his justice." He was killed by the police. It may well have been necessary self-defense, I'll hear that argument certainly, but it sure as heck wasn't justice. I just came from jury duty today and watched the usual sappy video about how we "can't have justice without u."

It was maybe, maybe the best they could do, but let's not confuse "we tried" with justice. Nobody, police or shooter, who died last night in Dallas got anything that resembles justice.
posted by zachlipton at 4:23 PM on July 8, 2016 [22 favorites]


Hell, I suspect the government would argue that military drone strikes in the US aren't even illegal if they are used in anti-terrorism operations and not for policing. It's a brave new world out there.
posted by Justinian at 4:23 PM on July 8, 2016 [5 favorites]


A timeline and transcript of what happened in the garage should be released to the public, at a minimum.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:24 PM on July 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


I don't understand what leverage the shooter is supposed to have had to even theoretically present the need to kill him in order to save others? There were no hostages; he was one guy; it sounds like he could have been physically contained.
posted by threeants at 4:26 PM on July 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


Was this actually a robot? I think it was a remote-controlled device which isn't a robot. A robot needs to be able to operate autonomously, no? Otherwise my remote controlled Tonka truck I had as a kid was a robot.
posted by Justinian at 4:26 PM on July 8, 2016


I don't understand what leverage the shooter is supposed to have had to even theoretically present the need to kill him in order to save others?

The rationale is that attempting to capture him would put officers at risk, due to close contact with someone who's claimed to want to kill them.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:29 PM on July 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'm just gonna go out on a limb and predict that Johnny Q. Self-Identifies-As-"Moderate" Public will see bomb robots as a very wise, safe, and effective way of taking out shooters in standoff situations and hey if it diffuses responsibility for extrajudicial police killings over an entire department and organizational structure instead of an individual cop that's just a cool bonus innit so bottom line this is probably not gonna be the last person blown up by a bomb robot
posted by prize bull octorok at 4:31 PM on July 8, 2016 [15 favorites]


The counter argument is that they could have starved/waited him out. The counter-counter argument is that once he got hungry/tired he would have attacked the cops and possibly injured or killed more people so this counts as self-defense as he refused to surrender.
posted by Justinian at 4:32 PM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


How does a police force have a bomb robot but not, like, the means by which to non-lethally immobilize a single shooter? Then again, maybe he "looked like a demon."
posted by threeants at 4:33 PM on July 8, 2016 [8 favorites]


The Verge: Bomb disposal robots, though, have emerged as a flexible tool for law enforcement, particularly SWAT teams. In April, members of the California Highway Patrol used a bomb disposal robot to deliver a pizza to a suspect, effectively ending a standoff. And in 2013, a SWAT team in Albuquerque used their bot to remove the blanket from a suicidal individual barricaded in his room, checking whether or not he was armed. (No weapon was found and a SWAT team took him into custody.)
-
this incident raises a number of practical considerations. These include the decreased usefulness of such robots as negotiators. If suspects fear them as potential assassins, why bother to talk to the police at the other end?


For now, while waiting for details, I'm thinking this was an extraordinary circumstance and I'll cut the cops some slack here. But in general, yeah, using bomb disposal robots to kill people is a really bad idea.
posted by Drinky Die at 4:33 PM on July 8, 2016 [9 favorites]


the evolution of off-label uses of bomb disposal robots is pretty fucking depressing
posted by prize bull octorok at 4:35 PM on July 8, 2016 [13 favorites]


You know maybe if we didn't glorify guns so fucking much in this country and let large sections of the population have weapons of mass killing with relatively little oversight or friction then maybe the police wouldn't have to use robot drones with bombs to execute suspects.
posted by Annika Cicada at 4:35 PM on July 8, 2016 [9 favorites]


How does a police force have a bomb robot

They put an explosive on one of their search robots.
posted by zutalors! at 4:35 PM on July 8, 2016


Hmm, you know, I immediately regretted making that "like a demon" reference. Even though I despise extrajudicial killings, there's a meaningful difference between an active sniper who (seems to have) killed 5 people and a teenager executed for shoplifting and like, woah, let's not allow the craziness to let us forget that, and I'm sorry I did.
posted by threeants at 4:36 PM on July 8, 2016 [9 favorites]


Brandon Blatcher I find that rationale to be lacking.

The police in America are far too eager to use deadly force, far too eager to kill someone.

Yes, the person in question was undoubtedly a bad person. But he was a **CONTAINED** bad person, and in the USA we aren't supposed to just summarily execute even very bad people. They could have just waited him out. Boredom or thirst would have driven him out of his hiding place in a few hours.

They could even have used tear gas. Though I'll not the international treaty forbids it from being used in war, so the idea that police can or should use it on civilians seems deeply wrong to me.
posted by sotonohito at 4:38 PM on July 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


It just occurred to me: If he was holed up in the parking garage, how were they negotiating with him? Did they do it by robot? If so, the implication is that they anticipated assassinating him by explosive before the negotiations even began.
posted by constantinescharity at 4:42 PM on July 8, 2016


They could even have used tear gas.

And he could've come out shooting.

I'm not second guessing DPD on this. My only concern is where the precedent will be taken by other departments.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 4:44 PM on July 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


They could even have used tear gas.

Honest question: what would tear gas have done in this situation to ensure that the shooter was down, with zero risk to any officer?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:45 PM on July 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


An update on shootings of police officers in Missouri, Georgia, and Tennessee today.
posted by zachlipton at 4:46 PM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Tear gas would have caused him to come out shooting, yes. I don't see what it would have done except make the situation worse.
posted by Justinian at 4:50 PM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Even gassing the guy with fentanyl like the Russians did during the 2002 Moscow theater massacre would have been less irresponsible than just blowing up someone who was already cornered.
posted by indubitable at 4:50 PM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


From zacklipton's link above: "Asked about the death of suspect Micah Johnson – in what appears to be the first known case of lethal force by a bomb-disposal robot – Dallas mayor Mike Rawlings said that officers tried to arrest him alive:

"This was a man we gave plenty of options to. He had a choice to come out and we would not harm or he could stay and we would. He picked the latter.""

For what it's worth.
posted by threeturtles at 4:50 PM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Fentanyl or other knockout gases only work in contained areas; a parking garage is not that. I'm not sure it's even legal to use fentanyl here?
posted by Justinian at 4:52 PM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Is it legal to use the robot this way? Serious question.
posted by Drinky Die at 4:53 PM on July 8, 2016 [7 favorites]


Here's the most detailed timeline I've found of the entire situation.

There's still very little about what went on in the El Centro College garage, where the shooter, Micah Johnson, holed up and was eventually killed by the "bomb robot".

New York Times has some annotated images and maps of the city.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:53 PM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Police forces in my area, who practice community policing and are widely regarded as being on the progressive end of their field, have been tweeting all day about Dallas. And that itself doesn't bother me; those five people were wrongly murdered, and there is a real bond between people who share a profession. But where was the "We condemn the murder of Philando Castile" tweet? Where was the "Systemic racism is real and we want to do the best we can in our community so people of color receive full and equal protection under the law" tweet? Other disciplines recognize and take steps to correct their own failings but to be frank I've never seen someone publically speaking on behalf of a police organization express even the slightest glimmer of awareness that the solution to any problem might be situated within themselves or their practices. I'm so, so disappointed to see this. It's like there's this deep, deep line that even "the good ones" can't dare to cross.
posted by threeants at 4:54 PM on July 8, 2016 [31 favorites]


I'm not sure it's even legal to use fentanyl here?

is it legal to extrajudicially murder a suspect with a robot?
posted by burgerrr at 4:55 PM on July 8, 2016 [14 favorites]


I would really love to know how police forces in other countries would have handled the situation.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:55 PM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure it's even legal to use fentanyl here?

Probably not! It's also extremely hard to control the dose, which is one of the reasons a whole bunch of hostages died. And yet, less irresponsible than just bombing someone who was cornered.
posted by indubitable at 4:56 PM on July 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


"Hard cases make bad law," I've been told. This is a hard case. His effectiveness at killing seems to have played a part in the decision to send in the robot; they don't seem to have trusted their officers' ability to contain him, given that he had just proven how good a shot he was. So, okay, fine, it was a hard decision in a difficult situation, and it would be a rare jury who'd convict them.

But mix this precedent with the proverbial “first rule of law enforcement” to go home at the end of every shift, and it's easy to see the use of police killer drones gradually broadening to more and more situations where officers think they might be at risk. It's an easy solution to difficult situations, and that's potentially very bad.
posted by clawsoon at 4:57 PM on July 8, 2016 [12 favorites]


But where was the "We condemn the murder of Philando Castile" tweet? Where was the "Systemic racism is real and we want to do the best we can in our community so people of color receive full and equal protection under the law" tweet?

I'm sitting here staring at the half-mast flag outside my government building window and I can't help but echo this sentiment; why don't we lower our flags for those unjustly killed? But on that thought, I suppose that flag would rarely have a day to be full-mast.
posted by numaner at 4:58 PM on July 8, 2016 [14 favorites]


"! It's also extremely hard to control the dose, which is one of the reasons a whole bunch of hostages died. And yet, less irresponsible than just bombing someone who was cornered."

I'm sorry but I don't see how releasing poisonous gas that will kill a human being(and possibly spread to other locations) is somehow "less irresponsible" than a bomb.
posted by I-baLL at 5:01 PM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


is it legal to extrajudicially murder a suspect with a robot?

Yes, it's legal to kill an active shooter who's refused to surrender and proclaimed his intent to kill more people.

If it comes out that he never said that and/or tried to surrender, then we have problem, oh yes. But for now that doesn't seem to be the case at all.

Finally he wasn't killed with a robot, but a bomb. The robot was just the means of delivery of said bomb.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:01 PM on July 8, 2016 [5 favorites]


Like, the field of public health has gone from this to this.
posted by threeants at 5:01 PM on July 8, 2016


is it legal to extrajudicially murder a suspect with a robot?

Well, having just looked up the local Texas laws regarding use of lethal force (due to a link way up in this thread), Texas law requires the suspect to have committed a crime using deadly force (check) or there to be a serious belief he will use deadly force on people if he is allowed to go free (check). It's necessary that the officer believes the arrest is lawful and necessary (check) and force is required to make the arrest or prevent escape. So, with the use of the bomb and robot aside, using lethal force in this situation seems to meet all the criteria for legality.
posted by threeturtles at 5:02 PM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


My question is, are bombs considered an appropriate method of deadly force for police? Are there any guidelines there?
posted by Drinky Die at 5:04 PM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


I guess I will give up on my "it's not a robot!" crusade. I ranted about it to my brother for a minute in Steam Chat and his only reply was to send back the OLD MAN YELLS AT CLOUD jpg. Fine, everyone wins, it's a robot.
posted by Justinian at 5:05 PM on July 8, 2016 [23 favorites]


DD: It's never been done before so I doubt there are guidelines! But clearly this is something that we should think about as a country instead of letting every podunk outfit with some dynamite and a remote controlled car figure out own their own.
posted by Justinian at 5:07 PM on July 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


I'm sorry but I don't see how releasing poisonous gas that will kill a human being(and possibly spread to other locations) is somehow "less irresponsible" than a bomb.

It's less irresponsible if you're trying to incapacitate rather than kill. I read the comment as saying that "yes, it has risks but it's less likely to kill and therefore more responsible."
posted by AFABulous at 5:09 PM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm sorry but I don't see how releasing poisonous gas that will kill a human being(and possibly spread to other locations) is somehow "less irresponsible" than a bomb.

Because in this hypothetical situation where we're considering gassing someone with an opiate there are medications that can at least for a time reverse the effects of opiates by blocking the opiate receptors. By no means a sure thing, but there's a chance. If I was given the choice between fentanyl gas with naloxone administration afterwards or getting blown up I'd pick the former.

My question is, are bombs considered an appropriate method of deadly force for police? Are there any guidelines there?

I imagine it starts with determining the suspect's race.
posted by edeezy at 5:11 PM on July 8, 2016 [5 favorites]


I kind of doubt that US police agencies keep stocks of fentanyl gas on hand so maybe that's a bit of a derail?
posted by zachlipton at 5:12 PM on July 8, 2016 [10 favorites]


If we believe the DPD, which I'm fine having doubts about until facts are out, he was given multiple opportunities to surrender. He didn't, and he kept threatening the police. He said there were bombs, he said he intended to kill.

For folks suggesting these magical knockout gasses, real life isn't the movies. This was an open air situation and they don't work that way. Anything like that exasperates the issue.

Attaching bean bag guns, tasers, etc to a robot is not really a feasible option, especially if the guy was wearing body armor. Using what they did put no lives at risk and provided a final ultimatum. Despite what you may think, a cornered individual with nothing to lose is quite dangerous even if he is not actively shooting.

And it's not like they strapped C4 to BombBot and said "go get 'em boy". A human guided it, a human made the decision to detonate the ordinance. Would you have been OK if a sniper took him out? A sniper that guides a gun and makes a decision to pull the trigger.

I'm not saying suspected murderers should be killed on the spot, but in a situation where lives are still actively at risk I will take a solution that likely keeps the death count to 1 over more 'humane' tactics that raise the probability of more people dying.
posted by splen at 5:13 PM on July 8, 2016 [18 favorites]


The Bahamas Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a travel advisory for citizens, especially young men, travelling to the United States. "Young males are asked to exercise extreme caution in affected cities in their interactions with the police. Do not be confrontational and cooperate."
posted by AFABulous at 5:16 PM on July 8, 2016 [14 favorites]


I'm okay with the death of an active shooter, I am not okay that they decided they had the time to go find a robot, strap explosives to it, give shooter multiple chances to surrender when as the last week shows that cops didnt have enough time to wait for an ID.
posted by AlexiaSky at 5:18 PM on July 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


Came here to post about what a bad idea it is to weaponize robots like that, given how they're used by hostage negotiators, and saw that there's a Verge article about it. Amused/alarmed that one of the precedents given was used by the WWII German Army.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:18 PM on July 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


Yes, the person in question was undoubtedly a bad person. But he was a **CONTAINED** bad person, and in the USA we aren't supposed to just summarily execute even very bad people.

Yes, absolutely this. He was contained - they should have waited him out or negotiated with him to surrender. They had him dead to rights if he came out guns blazing, no way in hell he'd manage to get his weapon to his shoulder, nevermind get off a shot. They managed to catch Some Asshole who shot up a movie theater in Colorado without killing him with a bomb-robot, and they also caught Some Asshole who shot up Cambridge and killed a cop after bombing the Boston Marathon.

There is no perfect safety if you are a police officer - this is why they are compensated generously and given vast powers over other citizens by the state. One of those powers is not summary execution by robokiller. Their job is to protect those in immediate danger and to remand criminals to the justice system for, you know, justice.

This exploding-drone bullshit was yet another extrajudicial murder of a black man.

In light of the venue the terrorist chose to attack, it's nothing short of horrible. Cooler heads should have prevailed, and they should have known better - they're paid for that.
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:18 PM on July 8, 2016 [21 favorites]


If we believe the DPD, which I'm fine having doubts about until facts are out, he was given multiple opportunities to surrender. He didn't, and he kept threatening the police. He said there were bombs, he said he intended to kill.

As has been mentioned here fine, but if I'm not mistaken they haven't found any evidence of bombs except materials at his house. That means that if bombs are out there they haven't found them. An un-blown-up suspect could help locate them better than a corpse.

Using what they did put no lives at risk and provided a final ultimatum.

There was one life put at risk.

And it's not like they strapped C4 to BombBot and said "go get 'em boy". A human guided it, a human made the decision to detonate the ordinance. Would you have been OK if a sniper took him out? A sniper that guides a gun and makes a decision to pull the trigger.

The robot is a chilling twist, but I don't think anyone disturbed by the killing of the suspect would feel differently if mode of death was different.

I'm not saying suspected murderers should be killed on the spot, but in a situation where lives are still actively at risk I will take a solution that likely keeps the death count to 1 over more 'humane' tactics that raise the probability of more people dying.

Some useful context here is just this year a gang of armed white men took over a federal building in Oregon and they were there for a month, threatening law enforcement the entire time. How many hours did this guy get? You can argue the situations were different but in essence they're the same except for the race of the terrorists involved.
posted by edeezy at 5:23 PM on July 8, 2016 [20 favorites]


You can argue the situations are different but in essence they the same except for the race of the terrorists involved.
posted by edeezy at 12:23 AM on July 9 [+] [!]


Except for the five dead and seven injured people.

Other than that, exactly the same.
posted by Reggie Knoble at 5:25 PM on July 8, 2016 [21 favorites]


Obama Cuts Europe Trip Short, Will Visit Dallas Next Week

You can argue the situations were different but in essence they're the same except for the race of the terrorists involved.

They wouldn't have been there a month if they had killed five police officers on the first day.
posted by Drinky Die at 5:26 PM on July 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


and force is required to make the arrest or prevent escape.

I'm not seeing the check on this requirement. The police chief was even quoted above as saying he had the choice to surrender and live or stay and die. "Stay" is the opposite of escape. If he chose to stay then it seems like they should have chosen to wait. And before you ask, as long as it took. Hell, play loud music at him for 3 days so he can't sleep. then turn off the music, spray a nice lavender scent and arrest him when he's sound asleep. (OK, maybe not literally that plan). The point is WAIT...there's no hurry. Let him "Stay" as long as he wants. You need to arrest him but you don't need to arrest him this minute. This do-something-now ridiculousness is exactly what got Sammy Yatim killed when they could have just closed the doors and left him in there.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 5:27 PM on July 8, 2016 [7 favorites]



Some useful context here is just this year a gang of armed white men took over a federal building in Oregon and they were there for a month, threatening law enforcement the entire time. How many hours did this guy get? You can argue the situations are different but in essence they the same except for the race of the terrorists involved.


They hadn't just shot a bunch of police officers. When one of them was (allegedly) reaching for a firearm he was killed.
posted by splen at 5:27 PM on July 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


Yeah, the Oregon idiots didn't kill anyone. Pointless comparison.
posted by zutalors! at 5:28 PM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


The robot is a chilling twist, but I don't think anyone disturbed by the killing of the suspect would feel differently if mode of death was different.

I dunno...Someone above asked if it would be better if he had been killed by a sniper. I think I would be bothered less if he were killed by a sniper. If it's a sniper, than I can imagine that what happened was that they had a sniper aiming at him throughout the confrontation just watching to see what he does. At some point he points a gun at somebody and the sniper or whoever gets to make the call makes the call and and it's a split-second thing because there's an immediate danger that he's going to kill somebody.

We drove our remote controlled bomb over to where he was is not a split second thing. It implies there was no imminent danger or urgency. I mean they had to get a robot, get a bomb, set up their little remote control and drive it to him at what I'm guessing is not a super-fast pace. If he were really an imminent threat this would be monstrously stupid -- he's going to see a robot coming toward him and start firing, right? that they didn't think that was the most likely outcome of driving a robot at him suggests this wasn't a we-need-to-do-something-right-now-to-save-lives thing.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 5:33 PM on July 8, 2016 [9 favorites]


Another consideration, if he was still in whatever sniper's nest he had created it's possible he still was potentially dangerous to anyone on the street, opposing buildings, etc.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:35 PM on July 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


"They managed to catch Some Asshole who shot up a movie theater in Colorado without killing him with a bomb-robot, and they also caught Some Asshole who shot up Cambridge and killed a cop after bombing the Boston Marathon."

The Aurora shooter surrendered to the cops. One of the Boston Bombing brothers was shot multiple times by the police and then run over by his brother. The brother who hid in the boat was also shot multiple times during a gunfight with the police. What is the point of these comparisons?
posted by I-baLL at 5:35 PM on July 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


I just now started watching "OJ: Made in America" and 20 minutes into the program the Watts Riots are shown with news reels and commentary. One dispirited black man was asked by a reporter on scene if he thought thing would ever change and the man shakes his head and says no.

The reporter then asks again, "you don't think it will ever change?". A somber head shake from the man and the same answer: no.

It is now 51 years later. fuck.
posted by futz at 5:36 PM on July 8, 2016 [14 favorites]


Just an anecdata point-my son is a police officer. He is not at all "generously compensated", in fact he makes less than 50K a year while working nights, holidays and 3 weekends a month. His wife has to carry their health insurance because it's unaffordable through the city. His union spends 70% of their time trying to keep the city council from looting their pension fund. All while the strongly R city leaders keep cutting property and sales taxes.

Sadly, just yesterday (before this happened in Dallas) he said to my husband and I that he wished he had become a firefighter instead of a LEO because "they're always the hero and everybody loves them". And now I'm going to bow out of this thread because it seems problematic for people who can support BLM and also support law enforcement.
posted by hollygoheavy at 5:36 PM on July 8, 2016 [16 favorites]


You can support law enforcement all you want. Just shove the thin blue line shit. BLM is about accountability. When police are accountable for their use of lethal force, then we can talk about their wages. Until then, I don't give a fuck about any problems cops have. They can cry me a dozen rivers.
posted by tobascodagama at 5:39 PM on July 8, 2016 [27 favorites]


Cops are killing hundreds of people each year with no meaningful oversight, and people want to talk wages. Un-fucking-believable.
posted by tobascodagama at 5:42 PM on July 8, 2016 [11 favorites]


Okay, using this CNN news story I found the parking lot building. It's at 800 Main St, Dallas, TX 75202. Looking at it I don't see how the shooter was "contained" when there are open windows on every side of the building at every level of the parking garage.
posted by I-baLL at 5:44 PM on July 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


This exploding-drone bullshit was yet another extrajudicial murder of a black man.

Not really seeing a use in comparing the killing of Johnson with the killing of a small time business owner (Alton Sterling) or legal gun owner sitting in his car (Philando Castile)or pretty much another other black who hadn't just gone on a killing spree.

If he chose to stay then it seems like they should have chosen to wait.

I see little reason to give the person who's gone on a killing spree and proclaiming to do more killing many choices. Yes, at some point Johnson's life did indeed become less valuable than any police officer of SWAT team member who would have gone in to apprehend him.

Society doesn't need or even want police waiting around for someone who's shot 14 people to decide that they'll surrender on their terms.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:45 PM on July 8, 2016 [13 favorites]


Who are you speaking for Brandon.
posted by Annika Cicada at 5:50 PM on July 8, 2016 [9 favorites]


It's all speculation at this point I-ball. Nobody knows what went down. Was he surrounded? They said he was injured. How injured? We won't know anything for awhile. Looking at a picture of a parking garage tells nothing and offers no new insight imo.
posted by futz at 5:50 PM on July 8, 2016


Yes, it's legal to kill an active shooter who's refused to surrender and proclaimed his intent to kill more people.

No, he needs the intent, ability, and opportunity to kill more people. I'd argue that at that point he may or may not have had the third thing.

Look, I thing the DPD might have a strong case for needing to do that. They should have to make that case, explicitly, not just be given a pass.
posted by ctmf at 5:50 PM on July 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


hollygoheavy: And now I'm going to bow out of this thread because it seems problematic for people who can support BLM and also support law enforcement.

Someone pointed out upthread that police who protect them are exactly what BLM are asking for. Law enforcement is good. Unlawful assault and murder carried out by, or covered up by, people who are great spouses and parents and friends off-the-clock is not good. I'm no expert, but there seems to be a lot of overlap between supporting BLM and supporting good law enforcement of good laws.
posted by clawsoon at 5:51 PM on July 8, 2016 [8 favorites]


Given that we have literally no more information about what happened in the parking garage and aren't likely to get any today, is there any point in continuing to go back and forth on this right now?
posted by zachlipton at 5:52 PM on July 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


Yes, at some point Johnson's life did indeed become less valuable than any police officer of SWAT team member who would have gone in to apprehend him.

I didn't say go in to apprehend him. I agree that it would not be right to ask anyone to risk their lives to do that. I said wait. Wait is not "go in and apprehend." Wait is wait. If there's no reason to think he's about to kill somebody, then there's no reason to kill him.

Look, either it's self-defence/defence of others, or it's an execution. And if no one was in immediate danger, it's not self-defence/defence of others. In my view, that makes it an execution, and I don't believe in capital punishment.

Society doesn't need or even want police waiting around for someone who's shot 14 people to decide that they'll surrender on their terms.

I basically agree. Cops shouldn't have to wait around for suspects to surrender on their own terms, but in a situation where it's either that or execute the suspect with no trial, it's the right thing to do.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 5:54 PM on July 8, 2016 [7 favorites]


Sadly, just yesterday (before this happened in Dallas) he said to my husband and I that he wished he had become a firefighter instead of a LEO because "they're always the hero and everybody loves them". And now I'm going to bow out of this thread because it seems problematic for people who can support BLM and also support law enforcement.

Let me put it this way. What I, and I think what BLM and the vast majority of people in this thread want, is for people like your son to be able to do their job well. To serve. To protect. To be the hero that comes into difficult or traumatic or even evil situations and finds the way to restore peace and to support justice.

He's not able to do that right now and neither are most of his colleagues in this country. They end up having to kill innocent people because of the way their workplace is run, the people their field does and does not value.

Black Lives Matter is the side that is calling for police and citizens to become one community, to work together. A true enforcer of the law should be standing right with them.
posted by tivalasvegas at 5:54 PM on July 8, 2016 [58 favorites]


". Looking at a picture of a parking garage tells nothing and offers no new insight imo."

Looking at a picture of the parking garage actually tells us a lot about the possibilities of the situation and shows a lot of assumptions that have been made aren't true. Like the claim that he was contained and that the police could've waited for days. A sniper in a tall building with open windows in the middle of downtown Dallas isn't "contained" from shooting more people just because the entrances are blocked. I thought he was in an underground parking lot until I saw the building using Google streetview. Seeing the building changed the narrative by a lot for me.
posted by I-baLL at 5:54 PM on July 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


I didn't say go in to apprehend him. I agree that it would not be right to ask anyone to risk their lives to do that. I said wait. Wait is not "go in and apprehend." Wait is wait.

They waited, looks like 2-3 hours. What purpose would have been served by waiting longer?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:58 PM on July 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


Cops are killing hundreds of people each year with no meaningful oversight, and people want to talk wages. Un-fucking-believable.

Low wages (and other problems) probably do contribute to the issue as a whole, though. And I've never been a fan of the "this problem is bigger than the other problem, so we can't discuss the other problem" argument. It contributes to the narrative that BLM is inherently anti-police instead of anti-police brutality. We need to discuss problems the police face, because they're directly related to the problems the police cause.

His union spends 70% of their time trying to keep the city council from looting their pension fund.

Funny how politicians will "support their police" when it comes to brutality against a particular race but not when it comes to funding their retirement, eh?

(Although, a 50k salary is actually higher than I would have expected for a public servant.)
posted by perplexion at 5:59 PM on July 8, 2016 [9 favorites]


They waited, looks like 2-3 hours. What purpose would have been served by waiting longer?

How many hours is a life worth?
posted by edeezy at 6:02 PM on July 8, 2016 [14 favorites]


Black Lives Matter is the side that is calling for police and citizens to become one community, to work together. A true enforcer of the law should be standing right with them.

He is and he isn't a minority around here. He's human and he's sickened by the murders committed by fellow LEO. He and others are trying to work from the inside to forge secure, positive and trusting relationships with Black communities but it takes time and every time another atrocity is committed, all the work they've been putting in falls apart. But they go back out there, stop and talk to kids and moms and dads, spend time getting to know each other in a non charged situation.
posted by hollygoheavy at 6:04 PM on July 8, 2016 [7 favorites]


50k plus when you murder someone you get half a million dollars from a bunch of racists on gofundme.
posted by poffin boffin at 6:04 PM on July 8, 2016 [13 favorites]


I would really like this to be line from which the violence in our society does not escalate any further. Rather than describe all the points of excessive terror that must happen before "society" wants a murderer to be murderered by the police via whatever extrajudicial means, I would rather society focus on how we can ensure this situation is never allowed to happen again.
posted by Annika Cicada at 6:06 PM on July 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


I guess I don't think 2-3 hours is a very long time. I meant wait long enough that it becomes easier to apprehend him or he becomes more likely to surrender. He's going to get hungry and sleepy and thirsty, eventually. He's going to have to poop. The police can work shifts. He can't.

And I assumed all along it was a multi-story parking structure (they said he had shot from above). The way to keep him from shooting people outside is to block off the streets outside. Yeah, I think a human life, even the life of a murderer, is worth shutting down the downtown for a couple of days if that's what it takes.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 6:06 PM on July 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


How could they get a robot close enough without him seeing it and doing something? I'm assuming he could run faster. Did they blow up the building?
posted by AFABulous at 6:10 PM on July 8, 2016


What purpose would have been served by waiting longer?

Justice. I want him tried and convicted by his fellow Americans for his crimes.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:12 PM on July 8, 2016 [34 favorites]


Yeah, I think a human life, even the life of a murderer, is worth shutting down the downtown for a couple of days if that's what it takes.

It was shut down even after they bombed him, so that wasn't a pressing concern. Heck, we were heading into a weekend.

The reality is that most cops are going to administer street justice to anyone who shot cops. If you survive the hail of bullets/flames (now shrapnel) they'll reluctantly take you in.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:13 PM on July 8, 2016 [5 favorites]


They also didn't know at the time if there were a lot more shooters stlll out there. So it wouldn't have been a good risk of time and manpower to keep negotiating.
posted by zutalors! at 6:13 PM on July 8, 2016


every time another atrocity is committed, all the work they've been putting in falls apart

Right. Exactly. These atrocities make the actual job, of making sure everyone in the community is safe, that much harder.

People in general don't want that. Black and brown communities definitely don't want that. We want our police to be able to care for us and guard us well.

Good cops want that, too. So they need to stand up and say: there is something horribly wrong in the way American policing works because we keep killing the people we're trying to protect.
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:13 PM on July 8, 2016 [13 favorites]




No, he needs the intent, ability, and opportunity to kill more people.

Actually, my reading of Texas law doesn't say that. (source) It says lethal force is allowed to arrest someone if they have already used deadly force OR are going to use deadly force on people if not arrested. If you've already killed someone, they are allowed to use as much force as they NEED to in order to arrest you. So the argument is how much force was needed to arrest him? If he repeatedly refused to come out and continued to make threats, eventually they had to do something. They spent several hours in negotiations. I mean the only way he was going to get out alive was if he surrendered. I think he almost certainly wanted to commit suicide by cop, but preferred to take more cops with him.
posted by threeturtles at 6:16 PM on July 8, 2016


"No, he needs the intent, ability, and opportunity to kill more people. I'd argue that at that point he may or may not have had the third thing."

If the cops approached him, would he have shot them?
posted by I-baLL at 6:19 PM on July 8, 2016


Why don't police departments make quotas for thank you letters instead of tickets and arrests?
posted by p3t3 at 6:20 PM on July 8, 2016 [12 favorites]


I think he almost certainly wanted to commit suicide by cop

Weird how eager they were to accommodate him.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:22 PM on July 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


The reality is that most cops are going to administer street justice to anyone who shot cops.

Which

is

exactly

the

problem.

I get the impulse for revenge, I totally do. But anybody who gives in to that impulse is not qualified to wield state-sanctioned lethal force.
posted by tobascodagama at 6:23 PM on July 8, 2016 [31 favorites]


Why don't police departments make quotas for thank you letters instead of tickets and arrests?

How much money do you include in your thank you letters?
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:23 PM on July 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


These NYPD officers are suing the city over quotas that force them to target minority communities.

Yeah. :( Makes me think of "performance incentives" for teaching, too. They're framed as a reward for doing good, but pretty soon the incentive becomes the standard, and then you're being asked why you're not making your bonus.

Making arrests and citations is no more a pure, context-free indicator of what's legitimately happening than passing or flunking students. Only too many bureaucrats and politicians want easy-to-chart metrics they can show off to show how awesome things are and/or where they need money. And naturally it's poor and minority populations that get screwed.

It's almost as if some professions aren't so easy to measure for performance.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 6:24 PM on July 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


How much money do you include in your thank you letters?

I'd rather we pay them in taxes than tickets.
posted by p3t3 at 6:25 PM on July 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


I don't feel like they sent in the robot in a rage driven by blind impulse for revenge. I think that's a fantasy people are inventing.
posted by zutalors! at 6:25 PM on July 8, 2016 [9 favorites]


It's almost as if some professions aren't so easy to measure for performance.

A lot of people would rather have imaginary, pointless measurements than no measurements.
posted by thelonius at 6:26 PM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


I don't feel like they sent in the robot in a rage driven by blind impulse for revenge.

It sure wasn't a surfeit of patience.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:30 PM on July 8, 2016 [5 favorites]


I'd rather we pay them in taxes than tickets.

This is a big issue. The anti-tax climate has shifted the burden of funding governments more and more to fees and fines, which often are quite regressive in their impact. What's more, the practice of jailing poor defendants for failure to pay enormous (to a poor person) fines or even court costs seems to be growing.
posted by thelonius at 6:37 PM on July 8, 2016 [16 favorites]


I don't feel like they sent in the robot in a rage driven by blind impulse for revenge.

I think the terms "cold" and "calculating" fit better there.
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:39 PM on July 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


Has anyone seen an update on the police audio from MN? Most of the news reporting on it is at least 7 hours old.
posted by futz at 6:43 PM on July 8, 2016


The IED-delivered-by-robot method reminds me of the Boston bombing response, when things ramped up massively and quickly went totally overboard, but at the same time, due to the nature of the crime and law enforcement's ability to manipulate public sentiment, it was basically impossible to criticize what was going on and everyone had to sort of tacitly accept it or find themselves facing a torrent of bile. Every time something big happens that causes institutional panic like this, it goes a little further. I'm not a huge fan of slippery slope arguments in general, but we sure do seem to be on one.
posted by feloniousmonk at 6:44 PM on July 8, 2016 [12 favorites]


I don't feel like they sent in the robot in a rage driven by blind impulse for revenge.

I think the terms "cold" and "calculating" fit better there.


I mean yeah, they were trying to go for the best possible outcome for the most people.
posted by