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May 31, 2020

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Okay, I'll add something from a Dahlia Lithwick column:

Consider that if you are George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, or Christian Cooper, you are asked to move through the world not only accountable to everyone around you for what you do, how you jog, where you sleep, and how you speak, but also to be somehow responsible for everything you don’t do as well. As my friend Aymann Ismail wrote this week, if you are an American of color, you spend your days smiling to disarm people who may fear you irrationally, or crossing streets to avoid alarming people who may think you want to harm them. In America, if you are a person of color, you must possess so capacious an imagination that you need not simply control your every word and move and act so as to avoid looking like you want to do harm, but you must also anticipate how anyone and everyone will interpret your words and behaviors, because it is their perception that matters. R. Eric Thomas says that if you are a person of color, what you think is immaterial: “You learn, at some point, how to perform being non-threatening and you learn that often it matters less how well you perform and more whether the audience for said performance believes it. Or wants to believe it. Or is in the mood to believe it.”

Ah, but if you are a white man, armed with, say, a bazooka, which you believe to be a benign First Amendment statement rather than a threat, attending what you insist is a lawful protest, which you believe to be another benign First Amendment statement, regardless of what the police say, well then you are responsible for nothing. Not the terror of others, which isn’t your concern, and not the public retreat or silencing of others, which is, after all, not your concern. The entire sphere of your responsibility is you. And if you are a brown man? Doing journalism as protected under the same First Amendment? Well, then you just have to hope that you haven’t sent a silent signal to the Minneapolis police that you are a threat. One side demands no awareness of the thoughts and fears of anyone; one side demands infinite awareness of every possible reaction by anyone, everywhere. Imagination too, it seems, is for suckers.

There's a lot more where that came from. But just for the record, I think she lets the white guy with the bazooka off much too lightly. The guy with the bazooka knows damned well what effect he's having, and that's why he's doing it.

Oh my God. That clip is terribly upsetting, and terrible, and true. And the Lithwick piece above ditto. Goddamn anyone who says "All lives matter" in response, it's almost always, at the very least, so incredibly obtuse.

It shouldn't be that 16 year old's job to come up with a better way. It is, and has been, and will continue to be, our job to do that, and give that kid a better world to come up in.

How long until this crap ends?

This shit is breaking my heart.

This is a video of a guy breaking windows at an Autozone in Minneapolis.

Apparently, he's a white cop.

I hesitate to share this, because I'm not sure that stirring up more anger is all that useful right now.

But seriously, WTF.

This nation owes its black population a debt that can never be repaid, not least for its patience, forbearance, and willingness to forgive.

It's on the rest of us to make sure that isn't all in vain.

wrs @11:48. It shouldn't be that kids' job, and it should be, in fact is, our job. But at the same time, a black man in America has 400 years of reasons to utterly write off the possibility that we'll do our job.

I'm nobody (to quote Emily Dickinson), so wtf do I know. But I believe that bearing witness is the foundation of every job worth doing. So bearing witness to the pain of the men in the video is a starting point. The least I can do is not look away.

Another addition, which notes It's a Battle for the Soul of the Nation:

The Trump presidency will be bookended by two violent explosions of racial animus. In some ways, the true start of his presidency, which set the tone for everything that followed — the racist appeals, the refusals to take responsibility, the selective condemnation of violence, the spinelessness of his party — was Charlottesville. A president who sides with “very fine” people, a.k.a. neo-Nazis, was one intent on destroying the prospect of multiracial, rational self-governance. The presidency ends — we pray — with the explosion of violence triggered by a Minneapolis police officer’s killing of George Floyd.
Trump keeps pouring gasoline on the flames. While Biden sounds like a President.

not sure what my point here is, but i feel like i should share this story...

a friend of a friend runs a clothing store in downtown Raleigh. like a lot of places, it's been struggling because of C19. and like a lot of places, Raleigh had a night of protests and vandalism and looting last night. and this friend of a friend was apparently there, watching her store during the protests. and, it was destroyed, and everything inside was taken. and the people who did it were black kids, mostly masked - she recorded it all on her phone and posted it on FB.

i'm having a hard time seeing how destroying this person's business helps the cause of racial justice. but it's much easier for me to see how it can turn people off to the protests in general.

confusing stuff.

As to the white guy breaking windows, who has been alleged to be a cop -- there are a lot of reports of incidents like that, some with pictures. Will any of them be tracked down and arrested? No. Among other reasons why not, the police are too busy arresting journalists.

Trump keeps pouring gasoline on the flames. While Biden sounds like a President.

Trump is always exactly the wrong person for the moment, no matter the moment.

Oh, wrs @11.48, and @11.59, and what Janie said @12.15, very particularly her last three sentences.

What is happening, has happened, and will apparently go on happening to African Americans at the hands of white Americans is a stain on humanity. And that it goes on being denied, and obfuscated about, and whipped up for various kinds of gain. (And, for the avoidance of doubt, I am not claiming that things in the UK are perfect either.)

@cleek -- of course destroying your friend's business doesn't help the cause of racial justice.

But as I learned during many years of gay rights and same-sex marriage campaigns, you go to bat for causes with the allies and hangers-on and bystanders and opportunists and exploiters who show up, not the perfectly omniscient and virtuous saints and geniuses you wish you had.

yeah, i didn't say anything about "perfectly omniscient and virtuous saints and geniuses".

One of the comments from Janie's link reads

“Our needs aren’t moderate. The absence of Trump is not enough.”
But probably a necessary first step. Without it, none of the other stuff happens either.

yeah, i didn't say anything about "perfectly omniscient and virtuous saints and geniuses".

I didn't say you did. You seemed to be blaming the destruction of your friend's store on the quest for racial justice. I think that's bullshit, to put it more bluntly.

strike that 12:32 of mine.

i'm not going to talk about this shit any more.

fuck this timeline.

cleek, I hope you don't mind me observing, this is no time for the good guys to scram. What you said makes sense, of course it does. But Janie's response is also about the real world, and reflects her impatience and frustration after a life spent fighting on various barricades.

Here's hoping neither of you minds my interjection!

cleek is right that a lot of people will be turned off by the reality of looting and destruction.

But that just illustrates Dahlia Lithwick's point, and one of Ibram Kendi's in How to be an Antiracist. Every black person has to behave perfectly at all times, and any bad behavior by black people or their allies is generalizable, and can be used to justify the status quo.

****

Seeing GftNC's comment before hitting post -- as I just said, cleek is partly right and partly wrong. IMHO.

This is ugly, and an example of how authorities (illegally) escalate a situation:
https://twitter.com/tkerssen/status/1266921821653385225

Every black person has to behave perfectly at all times, and any bad behavior by black people or their allies is generalizable, and can be used to justify the status quo.

I am not, of course, justifying this. It's perhaps one of the things that's mostly obviously on us as white people to try to counteract.

I realise I’m commenting from thousand of miles away, but I was moved by this:
https://twitter.com/andrewrsorkin/status/1266819298175172608

And how to de-escalate:

https://twitter.com/midmichigannow/status/1266907736735956996

https://twitter.com/JoshuaPotash/status/1266895422397779968

i'm having a hard time seeing how destroying this person's business helps the cause of racial justice.

It doesn't. It's profoundly counter-productive.

Your point is clear, and is completely valid.

I believe that bearing witness is the foundation of every job worth doing. So bearing witness to the pain of the men in the video is a starting point. The least I can do is not look away.

Amen.

and now i just learned that another friend of a friend, who runs a bunch of Mexican restaurants in OH, had a shop destroyed last night - while people were in there. they had to rush all the employees and customers out the back door, as 'protesters' came in through the front of the place and destroyed everything in sight.

they ran for their lives.

i don't think calling that unacceptable even approaches asking anyone to be "perfect".

YMMV, obviously.

It doesn't. It's profoundly counter-productive.

I'll go further.

It's more than counter-productive, it's wrong. The people who did it were wrong to do it.

King said riots are the language of the unheard. I think that is completely correct. And I think the anger behind them is also correct, and justified.

And I think that randomly destroying or taking other folks' property and businesses is wrong.

Neither statement makes the other less so.

I'm not a black person. I'm not on the street protesting anything. I'm just an old white guy with a nice white collar job living in a tidy little ranch house in a white-bread suburb. And I benefit in every way from all of that, and I benefit from the ease with which I was able to attain all of that.

So my piece of all of this is all about the general level of entitlement I can assume, because of things I did relatively little to earn.

I can recognize that destructive rioting is wrong and profoundly counter-productive, and I can also recognize that none of that lets me off the hook.

That's how I see it. I am, also and sincerely, sorry for the damage done to your friend's business.

I know people who were protesting in Philadelphia yesterday. They were displaced by rioters later in the day. I won’t say there were no people who both protested and rioted. I will say there were plenty of people who did one but not the other. It’s how these things go. Lots of people, a bit of chaos, then lots of chaos.

Responding to cleek @1:26

Oh FFS.

Of course it's unacceptable.

Of course it's counterproductive. Even profoundly counterproductive.

AND OF COURSE, IT'S GOING TO KEEP HAPPENING. Every single time.

So if any progress is going to be made toward racial justice, it's going to get done even though people show up to do this kind of shit while peaceful protestors are trying to do a different kind of thing.

Because people are a mixed fucking bag, and when good people show up to try to do good things, assholes are going to show up to wreck it, whether intentionally or not.

*****

they ran for their lives.

Is this supposed to be the fault of the people who showed up to protest peacefully? That's what I'm not clear on.

cleek, I'm sorry about your friends' businesses. There is no justification for such destruction. But there is also no justification for blaming the destruction on peaceful protestors, or on the cause they're working for, and that's what you seem to be doing. If I'm misinterpreting, feel free to correct me.

i don't think calling that unacceptable even approaches asking anyone to be "perfect".

I already said I didn't think you asked anyone to be perfect. JHC. But if you're going to be stuck on it forever, have fun. Unlike you, I'm now going to stay away for a while.

Is this supposed to be the fault of the people who showed up to protest peacefully?

no. of course not.

But there is also no justification for blaming the destruction on peaceful protestors, or on the cause they're working for, and that's what you seem to be doing.

i can't even.

now i'm really done.

they had to rush all the employees and customers out the back door, as 'protesters' came in through the front of the place and destroyed everything in sight.

My views on roits are profoundly influenced by all those I saw during my college years. They commonly had 3 groups involved.

  1. The folks who were protesting. (War. Racism. Whatever.)
  2. Those (college kids mostly) who went to the riot/protest for the excitement; they typically cared nothing at all about the cause of the protest. I actually had one of the kuds in my dorm say explicitly that he was going to the riot because it was exciting. I think most of the looters fall into this category.
  3. The guys who planned the riot. They definitely had an agenda, but it was unrelated to that of the original protesters. I observe that the actual protesters mostly had long hair (it was the late 1960s, when that was as much a political statement as a MAGA hat). But the guys who planned the riots had shorter hair than mine. And I was in ROTC.
I guess what I'm saying is that I suspect the rioters/looters mostly aren't seriously concerned with fighting racism. And I would not be at all surprised to discover that the looting was deliberately kicked off by "outsiders" also not interested in fighting racism. Whether they are racists looking to invent support for their views, or those just hoping to drastically remake how America is governed (far left, far right, or far libertarian), I couldn't guess. Maybe some of each

"Tanya Kerssen was standing on her front porch filming the procession of armored vehicles and riot gear–clad troops rolling through Whittier, a neighborhood a few blocks north of where protests over the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, had recently turned into riots. The National Guard had been called in to help restore order and enforce an 8 p.m. curfew set by Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz. Kerssen was complying with that order—the curfew applies only to public spaces, not private ones like residences, porches, or front yards—but she became a target anyway.

"Light 'em up!" someone can be heard shouting in the video. Then bean bag rounds and paint canisters are fired at Kerssen and others, who quickly flee inside.

The video is shocking, but it was hardly the only scene of apparently unnecessary policy brutality to be captured by smartphones and TV news cameras on Saturday, as peaceful protests in many cities across the country turned violent once again. Rather than helping to lower the tensions and restore peace, however, aggressive police tactics are likely going to worsen the situation—after all, the protests began because Minneapolis cops used unnecessarily brutal tactics to subdue and ultimately kill Floyd."
Nation's Cops Seem Determined To Demonstrate Why People Are Protesting Them in the First Place: Aggressive police tactics are likely to worsen the situation.

That was the escalation link I posted, Charles.
It, and the de-escalation links are worth a look.

As is KillerMike’s impromptu speech, which was both impressive and moving.
For my money, he should be in Biden’s administration.

That was the escalation link I posted, Charles.

I followed your link and thought the actions of the National Guard detachment were way over the top. I linked to the above article as it expanded upon and gave some additional context to your link. And covered some similar incidents occurring in other locations.

Nigel, that Killer Mike speech was magnificent (and made many of the same points cleek was thinking about, of course), thank you. I had no idea who he was. I agree, he needs to be in a position where he can do some more good, DV, after November.

And, wishy-washy as it may seem, I get where Janie is coming from as well. These are hard times, as I have said before, and emotions are understandably running so high it's easy for one's buttons to be inadvertently pushed by actual allies who could just as well be fighting alongside oneself on the same barricade.

This is not kumbaya (I know my interventions are often mistaken for it). This is know your actual enemy.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar got to the heart of it in this recent essay:

https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2020-05-30/dont-understand-the-protests-what-youre-seeing-is-people-pushed-to-the-edge

It's as if the Kerner Report was never written.

The National Guard footage has me back needing to read Radley Balko's "The Rise of the Warrior Cop." Balko and I don't align on many issues, but I do tend to agree with his analysis of police militarization.

https://www.c-span.org/video/?314154-1/rise-warrior-cop

(I'm more aligned with Balko than I am with the Cato Institute, but I think this event worth a link despite that.)

On the whole, police are much better behaved than they were even a decade or two ago. Due in part, that in public, they are often surrounded by people with video cameras.

I also recommend Balko's writings on the subject.

That’s cool, Charles.
I wasn’t meaning to disparage your post,

Like Nigel, I'm also far far away. I do know that sometimes, anger can't be contained. I also know that people use anger in various ways, legitimate and not. While it may seem a non-sequitur, watching how Jordan turned everything ever said against him into some insane kind of affront is what made him the 'GOAT'. And we (as society) cheer that because it is 'bringing out the best'. But if you think at what cost. (The program hasn't really changed my opinion of Jordan, it always seemed like he was a hyper-driven individual whose team accomplishments were only to validate his own accomplishments. It did take the shine off of Phil Jackson's zen master coach routine though, how does one allow that bullying in front of you?)

Anyway, I feel like we may be reaching an inflection point based on this article.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/lisettevoytko/2020/05/31/in-some-cities-police-officers-joined-protesters-marching-against-brutality/

but who knows. I sure don't

Anyway, I feel like we may be reaching an inflection point based on this article.

I had heard about Camden, NJ, which is very close to where I live and where my place of work is. It didn’t surprise me much, because the police force was revamped recently, is very young, and minorities are well represented.

It appears that my experience of half a century ago is being repeated. Just saw a news report that there are "mobile groups of rioters and looters moving about the East Bay."** Not protesters, note, but people just looking to loot or to riot.

I really wish some industrious law enforcement intelligence unit could identify who they, as opposed to the protesters, are. And throw the book at them. I've got a lot of sympathy for the protesters. For those just out to loot, not a bit.

** And most of the area has curfews in effect.

On the whole, police are much better behaved than they were even a decade or two ago. Due in part, that in public, they are often surrounded by people with video cameras.

CharlesWT, I know that I tend to tee off on you, so I want to avoid doing that here, I think there is a measure of truth. But it is not simply that there are video cameras, it is that those video cameras can have their 'film' uploaded to the internet where they can be seen by hundreds or even thousands of people in near real time.

Furthermore, mentalities have changed. In A few decades ago, how many black, women, minorities were in the force. Indeed, what makes the George Floyd murder so chilling is the inability of crowd's gaze to stop it. I've not had the heart or the stomach to look at it closely, but the total lack of response to the complaints of the crowd is something I really wonder about. Did they feel so empowered that they didn't think they had to worry? Or were they just so unaware of what was going to happen that they didn't give it any credence?

So anyway, I think that the tech that allows people to film at a moment's notice is important, no mistake, but it is part of so many other advances, that I bristle a bit cause your short comment makes me think that you are suggesting it is just 'video cameras' doing this.

This analysis of the 3rd degree murder charge against Chauvin points to some things that still raise concerns.
https://www.mercurynews.com/2020/05/31/ex-prosecutor-complaint-against-minnesota-cop-derek-chauvin-in-george-floyd-case-drops-important-clues/

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar got to the heart of it in this recent essay:

I shared that link on facebook this morning. I guess I'll see how many comments I'll feel the need to delete. I'm no longer interested in even momentarily entertaining people who try to argue that there's no such thing as white privilege or systemic racism. They might as well be telling me the Atlantic Ocean doesn't exist. Nor will I tolerate predictable whataboutisms. Maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised and won't have to deal with such things.

Police behaving badly.

"As Americans emerged from quarantine to protest police brutality—and as protesters in many cities were joined by opportunistic vandals and looters—politicians have imposed rules that only exacerbate tensions between cops and communities.

Urban leaders across the U.S. imposed curfews last night. In Philadelphia, for instance, residents got little notice before being told a citywide curfew was going into effect from 6 p.m. until 6 a.m. In D.C., the curfew went from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m., with the National Guard called in to help with enforcement. In Tennessee, the governor issued a statewide curfew from just after 8 p.m. until 5 a.m.

Nonetheless, protests continued apace, producing yet more law enforcement horror stories. Here's a small sampling:"
Videos Show Police Aggression Against Protesters Across the Country. Here Are Two Ways to Help It Stop.: Plus: the return of the "outside agitator" narrative, Trump can't designate Antifa a terror group, and more...

...your short comment makes me think that you are suggesting it is just 'video cameras' doing this.

I thought that usage was just Charles showing his age, like when people refer to recording something with a DVR as "taping" it. ;^)

like when people refer to recording something with a DVR as "taping" it. ;^)

Guilty!

Nonetheless, protests continued apace, producing yet more law enforcement horror stories.

Some of those, certainly. But also a lot of stories of police joining with the protesters. Kneeling with them. Marching with them (even carrying signs!). Chanting with them. Because a lot of police are just as appalled as we are.

That's unlike any past protests I can recall.

like when people refer to recording something with a DVR as "taping" it. ;^)

Or refer to entering a phone number as "dialing" it.

I doubt that Ann Coulter has a lot of fans here. But you still might like this comment about the effectiveness of Trump's response to the moment:

Is it possible Trump has resigned and they just haven't gotten around to the press release?
Sadly, probably not.

The senior US Senator from HI, Brian Schatz, has introduced legislation calling for an end to the practice of selling surplus military gear to US police departments.

Consider calling your Congresspeople and asking for their support.

The mission of civic police forces is, and should be, to protect and serve the communities they operate in. They are not supposed to be an occupying force.

A link for the above.

Currently, the incentives for a lot of police forces is to pursue illegal drugs and vice cases and let cases for things like theft and homicide slide.

Currently, the incentives for a lot of police forces is to pursue illegal drugs and vice cases and let cases for things like theft and homicide slide.

The left-click on my mouse is bouncing... :(

Is this relevant:

https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/05/george-floyd-death-focus-on-police-unions-protecting-bad-cops/

The trend to militarization accelerated, if not really began, when the gangs in various cities started having military weapons.

I can't ask the police to try to protect the citizenry with inferior weapons and limited body armor/riot gear. Just me. 7 police treated at the hospital last night, they were pretty much fully swatted. Imagine if they had ess how many might have died. That was just in Boston of course. Orlando, Charleston, similar stories.

The incentives to focus resources on vice cases are pretty high, they are typically the ones in the news.

The trend to militarization accelerated, if not really began, when the gangs in various cities started having military weapons.

Certainly this is an issue. But is there a way, other than the obvious (i.e. gun control for said military weapons) to address it? Because clearly just giving the police military weapons as well isn't working.

To McKinney's point about police unions (which seems to be a developing talking point on the right), it's hard to strike a good balance between protecting union members from unfair retaliation and serving the needs of the public.

I ran across a few of these articles right around the time I went in search of that Radley Balko talk and subsequently read through a few recent journal articles concerned with restrictions on public access to internal disciplinary records. There's a lot of evidence that suggests that these clauses in the collective bargaining agreements may make it harder to establish histories of problematic behavior because records are restricted or purged.

Full disclosure - I'm a grievance steward in the local campus teachers union. I support, in principle, the rights of union members to keep disciplinary records out of the public eye, especially as those records touch on medical issues or other standard privacy concerns.

This in no way means that I am not worried about abuse of these protections to shield bad actors. The problem here is not the presence of those protective clauses, but the union culture that turns a blind eye to member malfeasance and stands in solidarity with the bad actor in opposition to the core values that the union should represent. A union is only as good as its members.

So I worry that reforms that seem necessary in the case of the police unions' dysfunctional self-regulation will be exploited to go after other union members, and that the rules instituted to root out bad cops will be used to go after union activists on campuses and in communities that have been working to put pressure on police to reform their racist policies and excessive use of force guidelines. I know full well that these tools will be used to disrupt organization in contexts far removed from the dire and immediate need for racial justice.

It's not just a collective bargaining problem and care needs to be exercised in how the problem is tackled.

Much of what lead to gangs and their military weapons are the wars on some drugs and other economic "crimes." Still, most gun homicides are committed with handguns, not long guns.

it's hard to strike a good balance between protecting union members from unfair retaliation and serving the needs of the public.

Is there evidence of significant amount of "unfair retaliation"? Certainly there is plenty of evidence of failure to "serve the needs of the public."

Striking a balance would seem to require, first off, seeing how far off the current balance is. Quite possibly our first effort at balance will require further tuning. But we ought to be able to get significantly closer to balance than we are now.

other economic "crimes."

Can you unpack a little on just what you mean my "other economic crimes"? Like what?

Thanks

P.S. Just to clarify, to my mind anyway, the war on drugs doesn't qualify as about economics. It is, depending on the supporter, either about morality (we lost on abolition of alcohol, but drugs are evil too) or about race ("those people" use drugs, and this is a way to keep them under control).

wj - to be clear, my worries about unfair retaliation were not specific to police unions. Any standards that are used to govern access to police disciplinary records will also be used to go after teachers and other types of public employee unions. In my own immediate circumstances that means disputes over grades and such, and the outsized influence of student class evaluations on employee hiring and retention, even when those evaluations have no correlation with teaching effectiveness.

Like I said, grievance steward. I see a lot of this sort of thing.

And I also know for a fact that the alt-right has used FOIA as a tool for singling out activists and trying to launch attacks against them on campuses.

Any action taken to reform the police through curtailing union protections will spill over into other unions.

nous, I was thinking more about reining in the "defend our members, no matter what" feature of police unions. I don't see extending that to other public sector unions as a problem either. Not defense against unfair retaliation, but getting the unions to accept that not all of their members are angels either.

Illegal drugs, prostitution, gambling are economic crimes in that the crime is the exchange of money for products and services rendered. Illegal drugs are also status crimes in that it's illegal to be in physical possession of them. Lawers present, please critique.

The trend to militarization accelerated, if not really began, when the gangs in various cities started having military weapons.

SWAT or similar teams, dedicated to responding to very high risk situations like narcotics, terrorism, or active shooters, are arguably appropriate.

Military gear and tactics are not an appropriate response to protest or unarmed civic unrest.

Protect and serve. That's the mission.

New York may be about to change the over protection of police officers.

"New York has arguably the broadest police secrecy law in the country: Section 50-a of the state's civil rights statute. The law totally shields police misconduct records from release, and its scope has steadily expanded over the decades to hide wide swaths of related records from the public, including police shooting reports, transcripts of administrative trials, and even anonymized data on police use of force.

On Saturday, Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he would sign a bill to reform the notorious law, although he didn't go so far as to say he supported repealing it entirely."
George Floyd Killing Reignites Calls To Repeal New York's Police Secrecy Laws: For decades, New York's secrecy regime has hidden police misconduct records from families and reporters.

SWAT or similar teams, dedicated to responding to very high risk situations like narcotics, terrorism, or active shooters, are arguably appropriate.

Except that SWAT teams are not used in high-risk situations very often. Some jurisdictions have admitted that they use SWAT in low-risk situations just to keep in practice. Gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling to know that the police might use you as a training dummy.

wj - I agree that the "thin blue line/blue brotherhood" mindset is a huge obstacle to overcome when it comes to correcting internal problems without outside review and transparency. That's why I say that the big change that needs to happen needs to happen within the union.

I have no interest in sheltering other members of my union from discipline or keeping ineffective teachers or predators in the system.

The relationship that police unions have to their "management" at the government/administrative level is fraught in a very different way. We incentivize the police the way that we do in part because that is what the prosecutors and DAs need in order to get re-elected with their "tough on crime" value proposition. So the police unions suck up to those people and the governor sandbag the mayors or any government rep from a minority district with all the thin blue line crap. They continue to get away with the things they get away with because they are the hammer for the state.

As opposed to teachers unions that mostly advocate on behalf of their at-risk kids.

nous, sounds like we're basically on the same page. However badly I expressed myself initially.

Another obstacle to holding police accountable is qualified immunity.

"The killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer on Monday has reignited calls for national reforms to policing, including ending qualified immunity, a legal doctrine that civil liberties groups say has become a shield for grotesque police misconduct.

While some of the actions that criminal justice advocates are calling for—such as national use-of-force standards and limiting the power of police unions—would require large amounts of political capital, the issue of qualified immunity happens to be before the Supreme Court right now.
...
Qualified immunity, created by the Supreme Court in the 1970s, shields police and other government officials from liability in civil rights lawsuits when the illegality of their actions was not "clearly established" at the time of the offense."

The Supreme Court Has a Chance To End Qualified Immunity and Prevent Cases Like George Floyd's: The Supreme Court could announce as early as Monday that it's revisiting qualified immunity, a doctrine that shields rotten cops from civil rights lawsuits.

With all the events of recent months, weeks, days, I see full employment for some time to come for trial laywers...

Is this relevant:

From the lunatic Left....here.

With all the events of recent months, weeks, days, I see full employment for some time to come for trial laywers...

LOL...the entire edifice of the glibertarian "watchman state" is predicated on the absurd notion that just about any 'wrong' can be righted via resort to lawsuit or other civil action with the "watchman state" just "calling balls and strikes".

Glibertarians may be heard, but should not be taken seriously.

The trend to militarization accelerated, if not really began, when the gangs in various cities started having military weapons.

Then the question seems to turn on implementing public policy to mitigate the felt need of some to join and/or participate in gangs, no?

I wonder what such policies could look like?

Gosh or golly gee.

bobbyp - my comment on facebook today:

As a UC-AFT union member, I'm hoping that my AFL-CIO associates in the police unions take this moment to bend their unions' attention towards necessary internal work for racial justice and reform. A union can do this and protect its members against unfair labor practices at the same time.

If not now, when?

A union can do this and protect its members against unfair labor practices at the same time.

Yes, it could. And should. But is there any indication that, in this case, it will?

So, Ann Coulter gets what she wants, wj. I have no doubt this will play very well indeed with half the country.

I've got some union experience here, which I think is interesting because it comes with a number of other challenges and I have some thoughts, but no time to set them out very clearly. However, this LGM post
https://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2020/06/what-to-do-about-police-unions

has a number of good points. Especially provocative is this

Third, the labor movement is not about justice. It’s about two sides with sometimes divergent interests sitting down and bargaining.

nous....We agree, esp. your 4:55 above. My "lunatic" reference was pure sarcasm.

Thanks.

It's pretty amazing though to see folks crap on police unions as "too powerful" and "overly protecting of their members". I'd ask people espousing such views, "Wouldn't you like an organization that went to bat against your asshole boss and stood up for your interest the way these unions do?"

Loomis was exploring the very issues you raise.


"Wouldn't you like an organization that went to bat against your asshole boss and stood up for your interest the way these unions do?"

In a word, yes. Provided it didn't insist on going to bat for those who were guilty of misconduct. Which, all too often, police unions have.

Also, it occurs to me that, with a bit less fanatical opposition to letting anything come out about disciplinary proceedings, it might be possible to act against those bosses who abuse the system, too. Somebody who repeatedly makes complaints that are found to be unjustified might have some explaining to do.

In a word, yes. Provided it didn't insist on going to bat for those who were guilty of misconduct. Which, all too often, police unions have.

Don't most union agreements with their members require the union to take the members' side until such time as regular due process has been completed? It's not just police unions that look bad in such cases; professional sports players unions have ended up defending assholes as well.

Provided it didn't insist on going to bat for those who were guilty of misconduct.

Even Herman Goering had a defense attorney.

Who get's to decide? That's the crux here. One way to go is to institutionalize a strong and generally fair labor-boss grievance procedure that ensures the worker gets a fair shake, or do we surrender to the grievances of the ethno-nationalist racist industrial hurt feelings complex fanned by conservative propaganda that demands the subjugation of non-whites of all stripes and a heavy handed 'war on crime' to match?

Can we go "too far" either way? Perhaps. But we have yet to fully institutionalize the first option.

As somebody else here asked, "If not now, when?"

Don't most union agreements with their members require the union to take the members' side until such time as regular due process has been completed?

It's one thing to provide an advocate for someone who has been accused. I submit that it's a quite different thing to force the due process to stop. Which is more like what we see.

What's going through Derek Chauvin's mind now, beyond having taken another man's life and seeing the global unrest he's ignited because of it? What is that like?

This past weekend should be a good test of the result of ending lockdown with people out in the streets, screaming and yelling, coughing and sneezing from teargas and smoke, and being crammed into jails.

What's going through Derek Chauvin's mind now, ...

A bit of bad news/good news for him is that his wife has filed for divorce. But she doesn't want spousal support.

What's going through Derek Chauvin's mind now

The man who killed Medgar Evers in 1963 and was finally convicted of it in 1994 and received a life sentence was interviewed in prison. The interviewer asked him how he felt about finally being brought to justice.

"That nigger is still dead," he said, and laughed.

That's how Derek Chauvin feels right now.

Chauvin's wife also says, in the divorce finling, that she wants to change her last name. Not too surprising, I guess.

What's going through Derek Chauvin's mind now

If I had to make a guess, I'd guess that he probably feels sorry for himself, like he is the victim in all of this.

That said, I really have no idea, and I'm not sure I want to know.

"I was just following orders. Beautiful, perfect orders."

--TP

When I re-read what I wrote, I'm not sure it's entirely clear. The real question is what is it like to know that all the hell breaking lose across the country and in other parts of the world is because of what you did? A little over a week ago, the guy was a nobody like just about everyone else. Now he's the face of police brutality and racism the world over and the focus of the rage of millions of people. That has to be some kind of mindf*ck. (Not that I feel sorry for him. I just find it interesting.)

Now he's the face of police brutality and racism the world over

I'm guessing he is particularly unhappy to be considered the face of racism. Considering his wife of 10 years (who is filing for divorce) is Laotian. Racist when it comes to blacks, perhaps. But racist in general? Perhaps not entirely.

A little over a week ago, the guy was a nobody like just about everyone else.

Welcome to the Internet Age where even nobodies have a good chance of 15 minutes or more of fame/infamy. In the past, this kind of thing usually didn't make it beyond local news if even that.

To McKinney's point about police unions (which seems to be a developing talking point on the right), it's hard to strike a good balance between protecting union members from unfair retaliation and serving the needs of the public.

Is it relevant that this is a talking point on the right and not across the board?


What's going through Derek Chauvin's mind now

My guess: he's probably kicking himself in the ass for not having done what he did in private.

McKinneyTexas - Is it relevant that this is a talking point on the right and not across the board?

Yes, it's relevant, because it fits in with the larger strategy of dismantling union protections. Any legislation that gets taken up in the name of police reform will target the privacy rights of public employee unions more broadly. And this will mean that people like me will end up spending time fighting against the legislation when I'd rather be working to enact more restrictive and enforceable use-of-force guidelines that directly address the problem rather than hurting all unions for the sins of the police.

Yes, it's relevant, because it fits in with the larger strategy of dismantling union protections.

But what about the problem of bad cops being protected by their unions--why isn't that something the that only the right seems to be concerned with?

Any legislation that gets taken up in the name of police reform will target the privacy rights of public employee unions more broadly.

Which privacy rights in particular are taxpayer-funded employees owed that are (1) legitimate and (2) in danger? Because, ISTM, that public employees competence, attendance, work ethic, etc ought to be known to the taxpayers who are--not to put too fine a point on it--paying their salaries--why shouldn't this be public record?

And this will mean that people like me will end up spending time fighting against the legislation when I'd rather be working to enact more restrictive and enforceable use-of-force guidelines that directly address the problem rather than hurting all unions for the sins of the police.

You can't fight bad legislation and contend for good legislation at the same time?

Not going to lend my attention to a threadjack.

Instead:

http://useofforceproject.org/#review

https://www.policingproject.org/

Not going to lend my attention to a threadjack.

Threadjack? Really? Then why didn't you just say it was irrelevant in the first place. Seems to me this is one of the many roads down which partisans on either side decline to go since they usually meet themselves coming.

However, there is an open thread around here somewhere, so I'll re-ask the questions of you there.

I submit that it's a quite different thing to force the due process to stop.

Really? How does that happen? Cite some examples. How did it come to be so?

We have public policies that allows police to engage in state sanctioned violence. Our governments all all levels arms them to the teeth. That is errs so often on the side of needless brutality is a feature, not a bug. This is what "law and order" types have long demanded and support.

In an important sense, this really has nothing to do with "unions".

You want to evaluate a real causal force? Here's a clue: It's a word that starts with "r".

This is what "law and order" types have long demanded and support.

They have supported it as long as it is being directed against others. But the minute it might be directed against them? Cue the 2nd Amendment cries.

Public employee unions have a conflict of interest that private employee unions don't. They and their members contribute to, campaign, and vote for their bosses. Or the people who pick their bosses.

I've watched decades of candidates fight over who is the law and order candidate. This isnt about law and order or about unions. This is about policemen not being held accountable departmentally for doing their jobs unacceptably.

It seems each offending officer(where wrong doing is clear) has a history that makes the incident predictable. The systemic excusing of those acts enables the ultimate death. The union defending the officer is not an excuse for him still being there. His boss should be culpable with him.

Just my take.

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