38 posts tagged police
Bullies with a Badge
ramsey clark, we have not see his life again. certainly not eric holder.
We have witnessed confrontations between police and citizens fraught with violent potential in many parts of the nation. Some have been preceded by skillful psychological buildups designed to create apprehension. Wild rumors, promising immense crowds, traffic paralysis, rioting and looting have flourished for weeks and even months before a number of such demonstrations. Crowds of tens of thousands have assembled and protested. Among them have been individuals intent on creating trouble; violence if possible.
Experience to date shows such crowds can be controlled without significant violence. They can be controlled without denying rights of speech and assembly. It is well to remember President Kennedy’s observation that those who make peaceful change impossible, make violent revolution inevitable. Above all, such crowds can be controlled without excessive force and violence by police.
Of all violence, police violence in excess of authority is the most dangerous. For who will protect the public when the police violate the law?
The need is constant communication. Careful sifting of rumors can eliminate the 99% that are obviously unfounded without escalating public apprehension by giving them credibility. The clear offer of a fair and reasonable accommodation of requests to assemble and speak reduces the risk of violence. Careful distinction between non-violent demonstrators acting within the law and those who commit violence, protecting one, arresting the other, is essential to avoid the non-violent in violence. An express mandate to the entire police complement to use the minimum force necessary to execute lawful orders, to refrain from use of excessive force must be understood by every officer. A constant turnover of men at critical or sensitive duty stations will relieve tensions and cool tempers. Constant presence by high Departmental officials will better assure a professional discipline. Firm appropriate action is needed when police themselves violate the law.
Crowd control under such circumstances is far from an easy task. It has been accomplished under great provocation without excessive force by the police.
It is the duty of leadership and law enforcement to control violence, not cause it. To seek ways of relieving tension, not to look for a fight. A professional police department, properly instructed, well trained, well paid, adequately staffed can do this. Balance, firm effective enforcement of the law, neither overaction, nor underaction, these are the needs. Professionals can succeed. Our liberty and security depend on them.
—Remarks by Ramsey Clark to the National Commission on Causes and Prevention of Violence, Washington, DC, September 18, 1968
Since the days of the the labor and civil rights movements and through the era of the protests against the war in Vietnam, we seem to have learned very little about the best way for government officials to respond to those who disagree with them.
This is a sad situation in a country such as ours which professes the values of freedom and justice that it does …
In my BOOK I talk about how police should approach and respond to these protests:
“In a democracy, police have a very complex role compared to what is expected of the police in other systems. The power of the state must be balanced with the rights of an individual; other systems have no balance requirement—only to use the power given them by the state. Uniquely, police in a democracy don’t exist solely to maintain order on behalf of the state, but also to assure that the fundamental rights guaranteed to every citizen are protected in the process. “This is never more evident as when a totalitarian state responds to public protest. In this instance, the goal of the police is to prevent or repress, not facilitate, protest. We see that in today in Syria, China, and other less-than-democratic governments. In these instances, the very act of disagreeing with the government is illegal and subject to police action … “
Early in my police career, I began to re-think the role of police and protest after I had witnessed and participated in too many that had gone wrong:
“I was beginning to see that proximity mattered, being close was safe—just like on the beat. Get close, talk, stay in contact. The further the police positioned themselves from people in the crowd, the greater the chance the crowd would depersonalize them; to see them as objects and not people. Therefore, getting closer to the people, whether in managing crowds or patrolling neighborhoods on foot, seemed to be a good basic strategy that needed to be experimented with”
So, that’s what I did when I came to Madison. For over 20 years, we in Madison responded to anti-war rallies, civil rights demonstrations, student block parties, and other mass gatherings without substantial incident. How did that happen? We developed what today is being called the “soft approach” (see the recent work of Dr. Clifford Stott at the University of Liverpool. What Stott and others found is that dialogue and liaison are effective police strategies in crowd situations because they allowed for an on-going risk assessment that improved command-level decision-making. Using this strategy, there was a better outcome because it also encouraged ‘self-regulation’ in the crowd and thus forestalled the use of unnecessary force by police during moments of tension.
Some Know Your Rights materials I made. Hopefully find them helpful. :)
Guys, these are really important. I was out the other week where a friend was taken from the house I was at, not read his rights, and was detained/almost arrested. Make sure you know this stuff.
Police Shot Teen in Toronto (UPDATE: Officer Charged) (by The Young Turks)
Published on Aug 20, 2013
"A shooting death that has captured the nation’s attention and sparked debate about police use of force took a dramatic turn Monday, when the Toronto officer involved in Sammy Yatim’s killing was charged with second-degree murder and the victim’s family issued its most critical statement yet." Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian of The Young Turks discuss the story and contrast the response to the shooting to the way we typically handle things in the United States.
Tell us what you think of the charges in the comment section below.
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In a ruling that will change racially unfair police practices in New York, a federal judge has found the NYPD stop and frisk program to be unconstitutional. The New York Times reports:
“In a decision issued on Monday, the judge, Shira A. Scheindlin, ruled that police officers have for years been systematically stopping innocent people in the street without any objective reason to suspect them of wrongdoing. Officers often frisked these people, usually young minority men, for weapons or searched their pockets for contraband, like drugs, before letting them go, according to the 195-page decision.”
Published on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 by Common Dreams
Image of Gas Attack Against Lone Brazilian Woman Goes Viral
Shocking images of police violence draw much-needed attention to protests and larger issue of police brutality
those meditators sure look dangerous….
NYPD Cop intentionally hits Supreme Court judge in the throat
Witnesses corroborate his story.
One of these photos was taken in 1965 and the other last night. Not much has changed: #BrooklynProtest
Via Occupy Wall Street
03.01.13 - 12:04 PM
Not Guilty By Virtue of Videotape, Which, Unlike the Police, Doesn’t Lie
In the first jury trial stemming from Occupy Wall Street protests, activist and community organizer Michael Premo was found innocent of all charges after his lawyers presented video evidence that directly contradicted the story told by police and prosecutors. Premo was facing felony charges of assaulting an officer during a demonstration in Lower Manhattan that also drew clergymen. Police said he tackled officers as they were kettling protesters, but unearthed video from Democracy Now showed that in fact police threw him down to the ground. Lesson of the day: Keep filming.
Also: Occupy the SEC has filed a lawsuit against procrastinating bank regulators to get the Volcker rule, which would rein in Wall Street, in place.
is don’t trust anything the police and the media tell you.
Stop and think for a minute. Winnsboro is Klan country, a short drive from Jena. Do you think there aren’t Klansmen and sympathizers in the Winnsboro police?
As my comrade Tony Murphy wrote: “I would also like to point out the speed at which the Winnsboro police have cast doubt on her story — compared to the foot dragging that Trayvon Martin’s parent’s encountered when they tried to find out what happened to their son. One article had the police determining this was a hoax in ‘less than 24 hours,’ performing analyses of the car, her fingerprints — they were a regular CSI Winnsboro.
“In Sanford, police had Trayvon’s body in the morgue for two days while the parents frantically called them looking for their son. I saw Winnsboro referred to as being in the ‘Klanbelt’ — Jena is 60 miles away, and another town, Ruston, is 75 miles away, where the Klan marched in the late ‘90s.”
Obit of the Day: “Thirteen Cokes, Please.”
Clara Luper, an Oklahoma history teacher, ordered those Cokes at Katz Drugstore in Oklahoma City on August 19, 1958 for herself and twelve children, ages 6 to 17. Lunch counters in Oklahoma, like much of the South, were segregated. This wasn’t just a request for drinks, but a request for civil rights.
Waitresses ignored them. Other patrons did not: leaving the restaurant, pouring drinks on them, cursing at them. (Did I mention there were children as young as six?) The group left after a few hours without a drink. They returned the next day and were served their Cokes, and burgers, too.
“Within that hamburger was the whole essence of democracy.” - Clara Luper
Note: This took place a year and a half before the much more famous sit-in at the Greensboro (NC) Woolworth’s on February 1, 1960.
Luper would continue her fight to desegregate public spaces in Oklahoma City. She was arrested 26 times between 1958 and the passage of Oklahoma law to desegregate. (Passed two days after the Civil Rights Act.)
(Fantastic image is courtesy of Black Past.)