Floyd: Charges Expanded, Obama to Speak

MN Attorney General Keith Ellison today announced that three additional police officers present at the scene of George Floyd's death who witnessed Derek Chauvin's attack on Floyd have been charged with aiding and abetting Chavin. Chauvin's charges were upgraded to second degree murder and second degree manslaughter.

These are state, not federal charges. The officers are Thomas Lane, Alexander Keung and Tou Thau. Lane is already in custody, police are in the process of arresting the other two.

Obama is speaking now. You can watch here. He says the events of the last few weeks have given us a chance for change. He's excited about all the young people coming out. He feels optimistic -- like this country is going to get better. [More...]

  • He wants young people of color to know their lives matter. He views his children and nieces and nephews as having limitless opportunities, and all children of color should have them.
  • He wants to acknowledge the police who protect and serve, and especially those who marched with the protesters.
  • Reform has to take place at the local level. Mayors and county executives appoint police chiefs. District Attorneys and states' attorneys make charging decisions.
  • He has been hearing on the internet a debate between those who want to protest and those who want to participate in solutions. He says this is about both.
  • Addressing people of color, he asks: What can we do? He says there are specific evidence-based reforms that have been found yield positive results by the Task Force on 21st century policing (available on his website). Also, he says, every mayor should review their city's use of force procedures and issue a report on what they are doing to enact recommended reforms.
  • He says he was young in the 1960's but he has learned a lot about the era. He believes that in comparison to the protesters back then, the protesters for Floyd are a far more representative cross-section of America who have put themselves on the line to bring about change.
  • He tells them to follow through. Attention on the issue will go away, and it's important as a country to keep it going.

My view: I don't see much real progress in the past 30 years. The police culture has not changed much. The probem is systemic, embedded within and affecting law enforcement as a whole. That said, there have been protests after every police killing of a person of color in recent memory. Civil rights statutes have been used to prosecute the perpetrators for decades. Why is the reaction so intensified now? Civil rights statutes were used in 1997 to prosecute the white police officers charged in the brutal assault of Haitian Abner Louima, who had a stick shoved up his rectum at the station house by officer Justin Volpe. Louima was in the hospital for two months, sustaining a ruptured colon and bladder. Volpe ultimately pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 30 years, which he has been serving in federal prison. His release date, according to the BOP website is January, 2025. Volpe's principal accomplice, Charles Shwarz, was convicted of aiding and abetting (for leading Volpe and Louima into the bathroom) and received a 15 year sentence, later reduced to 5 after the Court of Appeals overturned the verdict and he was tried on new charges. He is now working for the New York City Housing Authority earning more than $100,000. a year.

Two other two officers were acquitted. Abner Louima ultimately accepted a settlement of $8.6 million for the City. According to the NY Times, after Louima, police reforms were instituted (by then commissioner Bernard Kerik).

Politicians campaigned on a platform of "zero tolerance" for police brutality, including one who got Abner Louima to accompany him.

The street protests and reforms that followed Louima's assault hasn't stopped the brutality. There was Amadou Diallo, an unarmed immigrant from Guinea who was gunned down by four white officers shooting him with 41 bullets. All four were acquitted at trial.

The verdict came in a tense and racially charged case that led to anti-police demonstrations, arrests and a reorganization of the department's Street Crime Unit, to which the officers belonged.

...Mr. Sharpton also asked for calm, saying, ''Those who believe in Amadou should not betray his memory by acting like those who killed him.'' Outside the courthouse, Kadiatou Diallo, Amadou's mother, said, ''I ask for your calm and prayers.'' She added, ''As we go on for the quest of justice, life, equality -- I thank you all.''

Community activists today are making the same plea in the wake of the killing of George Floyd. There have been street protests after each tragedy, followed by promises of reform. And yet we have seem to still be stuck on square one.

I do agree there is a difference now, and a heightened sense of urgency. There's also an increased joinder of diverse cultures, genders and races in the quest for equal justice, and much greater participation by white people.

I think the killing of George Floyd is the major reason for the increased participation in protests, but I also believe some of it is attributable to the uncertainty and disarray everyone has encountered the past few months in their personal and economic lives due to the coronavirus and the delayed and inadequate response of those in charge.

We are all living in a form of free-fall: will we get back to work and if not, how will we find similar jobs; brick and mortar stores and restaurants ask when will people feel safe enough to shop and eat out and how can they sustain a business operating at 1/4 of their normal capacity; Musicians, even wealthy ones, want to know if and when people will start attending concerts again; entertainers (talk show hosts) want to know when live audiences will be restored (it's just not entertaining or funny when they come to us from their garage with no laughing and they know it); the elderly (now deemed to comprise people over 60) want to know if they will ever be free of risk of the virus or be able to participate in group and family events without fear of contracting it. It's not just that normal is gone, it's that no one knows what will replace it.

On a related note: Whatever one's reason for protesting, I have learned that it is important for white people to refrain from telling black people that we feel their pain or know what they are going through. We have no clue. This is their battle, and we should support them and listen to them, express our solidarity and let them know we support whatever solution they think best. Almost all of us white people would also benefit from educating ourselves on the history of racism in America. We will never be able to feel what Blacks feel having faced generations of discrimination and denial of equal rights and opportunities to succeed, but we can learn from the wrongs of our government and society and express our support for whatever course of action they determine to be appropriate.

Listening is hard work. Most of us would rather talk. But we have to learn to listen and really hear our African-American friends and their community leaders as they express their anguish and their frustration at how their lives have been adversely impacted by discrimination. We must support the protesters and not get distracted by a few incidents of violence or looting. We must realize that the problem doesn't lie with a few rogue officers, but is deeply engrained in our society and our government. We must all be willing to act in support of our knowledge and to teach our children more than we were taught.

So for me, Obama's suggestions don't go far enough. It's society, not just the police and military who need to change. The criminal justice system is a good place to start, as we need to end the arbitrary enforcement of our criminal laws, from bail to charging decisions to rooting out unconscious bias among prospective jurors. Check out this video that the federal court in the District of Western Washington now plays to each group of prospcective jurors who show up for service.

But the criminal justice system is just one branch on the tree of injustices African- Americans face in this country. They don't share equal access to medical care. They have fewer opportunities to advance in the workplace, are often stuck in low-paying jobs and make less money. They lack access to educational opportunities the rest of us take for granted. I think all of us would agree that every African-American child must be provided the same opportunity to succeed as a white child, so why hasn't it happened?

Change at the local level is fine, but we need also need to clean house at the top -- starting with getting rid of Donald Trump. Whether he shares the views of his under-informed supporters or not, he uses his campaign rallies to encourage their prejudices.

America is a rudderless ship right now. In addition to the senseless and tragic death of George Floyd and the never-ending problem of the overuse of force by law enforcement, we are still facing the coronavirus, the economic uncertainty of not knowing where our next paycheck will come from, and our distrust of the man in charge who is unwilling and incapable of serving as a leader to whom we can look for stability, security, reassurance and inspiration.

I have no idea how this will all end. But we get the government we elect. Listen, learn and take the right path, not just for ourselves but for each other.

< Joe Biden Starts His Comeback Tour | Thursday Open Thread >
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  • Display: Sort:
    Powerful statement by Mattis (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jun 03, 2020 at 07:27:39 PM EST
    Mattis denounces Trump in blistering statement on protests

    "I have watched this week's unfolding events, angry and appalled," Mattis wrote in a statement to The Atlantic.
    Mattis said Trump is the first president in his lifetime "who does not try to unite the American people--does not even pretend to try."

    "We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership," Mattis added.

    Link to The Atlantic article (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jun 03, 2020 at 07:34:52 PM EST
    James Mattis Denounces President Trump, Describes Him as a Threat to the Constitution

    James Mattis, the esteemed Marine general who resigned as secretary of defense in December 2018 to protest Donald Trump's Syria policy, has, ever since, kept studiously silent about Trump's performance as president. But he has now broken his silence, writing an extraordinary broadside in which he denounces the president for dividing the nation, and accuses him of ordering the U.S. military to violate the constitutional rights of American citizens.

    More important stuff from The Atlantic (none / 0) (#17)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jun 04, 2020 at 08:13:28 AM EST
    History Will Judge the Complicit
    Why have Republican leaders abandoned their principles in support of an immoral and dangerous president?

    In english, the word collaborator has a double meaning. A colleague can be described as a collaborator in a neutral or positive sense. But the other definition of collaborator, relevant here, is different: someone who works with the enemy, with the occupying power, with the dictatorial regime. In this negative sense, collaborator is closely related to another set of words: collusion, complicity, connivance. This negative meaning gained currency during the Second World War, when it was widely used to describe Europeans who cooperated with Nazi occupiers. At base, the ugly meaning of collaborator carries an implication of treason: betrayal of one's nation, of one's ideology, of one's morality, of one's values.

    To the american reader, references to Vichy France, East Germany, fascists, and Communists may seem over-the-top, even ludicrous. But dig a little deeper, and the analogy makes sense. The point is not to compare Trump to Hitler or Stalin; the point is to compare the experiences of high-ranking members of the American Republican Party, especially those who work most closely with the White House, to the experiences of Frenchmen in 1940, or of East Germans in 1945, or of Czesław Miłosz in 1947. These are experiences of people who are forced to accept an alien ideology or a set of values that are in sharp conflict with their own.

    I have been listening (none / 0) (#19)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jun 04, 2020 at 09:39:39 AM EST
    To a conversation on MJ about this piece and everything else with Anne Applebaum (the author), Marsha Gessen and Gail belt a CIA analyst about how similar this is the the collapse of democracies in other places.

    It got scary when the question was, ok, what happens next.

    The answer was they try to steal an election.  Historically, they said, that's what happens next.

    Happy Thursday.


    Is that on Mother Jones? Link please! (none / 0) (#26)
    by leap on Thu Jun 04, 2020 at 03:05:15 PM EST

    Sorry, Morning Joe (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jun 04, 2020 at 04:33:42 PM EST
    For future reference MJ in my universe is Morning Joe.

    They make it hard to link to specific videos for some reason

    Morning Joe

    Right now there are two videos on the right.  Second and third from the top.

    There is one about stealing the election which looks short and one about "trump and what power looks like" that looks long enough to be the whole conversation.


    Thank you. (none / 0) (#30)
    by leap on Thu Jun 04, 2020 at 06:11:52 PM EST
    Yes, it was the video titled "Trump is showing us what he thinks power looks like and sounds like." These are incredibly serious and fraught times, and all three commenters (Ann Applebaum, Masha Gessen and Gail Helt) were on that same page, because they study autocrats and fascists and they know how they work. Congress really HAS to step up. As do other government officials. Of course, Trump has changed all those institutions and insist they work for him. LowBarr is the primary example.

    We have to vote out all gd Republicans. And change out some Democrats.

    I have always liked Ann Applebaum and Masha Gessen. They are so knowledgeable and articulate about that knowledge. And brave. I didn't know about Gail Helt.

    Along the same vein, Mehdi Hasan talks with Ruth Ben-Ghiat, another fascism scholar

    "If we wait around for a certain kind of violence that we associate with fascism to be worried, we're gonna wake up one day and find an authoritarian state in the 21st century manner and not have understood how it got there."

    Congress had the chance to step up. (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Chuck0 on Thu Jun 04, 2020 at 07:20:26 PM EST
    They blew it. Well, the Senate did.

    The dirty (none / 0) (#33)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jun 04, 2020 at 08:07:06 PM EST
    Secret is though those values are their values. I ask conservatives what Trump has done that is different from any other conservative? The answer is nothing. The difference is Trump is loud and coarse about it.

    The response (none / 0) (#18)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jun 04, 2020 at 09:14:48 AM EST
    Donald J. Trump
    Probably the only thing Barack Obama & I have in common is that we both had the honor of firing Jim Mattis, the world's most overrated General. I asked for his letter of resignation, & felt great about it. His nickname was "Chaos", which I didn't like, & changed to "Mad Dog"...
    Show this thread
    Donald J. Trump Retweeted

    Donald J. Trump
    ...His primary strength was not military, but rather personal public relations. I gave him a new life, things to do, and battles to win, but he seldom "brought home the bacon". I didn't like his "leadership" style or much else about him, and many others agree. Glad he is gone!

    Love the part about the nickname.  Which is a lie, btw


    Anybody still subscribe to the FNYT? (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by smott on Thu Jun 04, 2020 at 12:46:26 PM EST
    Their Tom Cotton oped was nauseating.
    Bennett's already in damage control....

    I emailed the NYTimes (5.00 / 3) (#25)
    by KeysDan on Thu Jun 04, 2020 at 02:35:31 PM EST
    demanding that it is my first amendment right that they publish my counter-op ed, taking the, admittedly radical position, that the US military should not attack peaceful protesters with bayonets and automatic weapons.

     Only fair to present my position along with Cotton's.  Let the marketplace of ideas sort this dilemma out.   Both sides have a point, it is just balancing the first amendment right of a US senator who has no other outlet for his voice with the first amendment right of citizens to speak out and to gather and redress the government.  And, then I cancelled my subscription and told them where to go.  


    Next they will publish (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by desertswine on Thu Jun 04, 2020 at 03:21:26 PM EST
    an op-ed on the beauty of smoking, just to fair to all sides.

    The NYTimes has denounced (5.00 / 3) (#34)
    by KeysDan on Fri Jun 05, 2020 at 12:30:18 PM EST
    itself for publishing Republican Senator Cotton's essay entitled: "Send in the Troops".  The mea culpa says it rushed the editorial process and did not meet its standards. James Bennet, op-Ed editor, told employees that he did not even read  the fascist screed before publication. And, one that even misquoted the US Constitution ( Art. IV, Sec 4).

    Bennett's embarrassing admission makes me wonder if some higher ups suggested he run it.  Maybe, the WH.  

    Of course, Cotton was gracious about it all, tweeting that he was "enjoying the NYTimes meltdown" adding a laughing emoji.

    Maybe, just maybe the NYT will be chastened, if not by "standards", by subscription cancellations.  Even the Boy Scouts learned to never again invite Trump to speak to its boys.


    Up-date (none / 0) (#41)
    by KeysDan on Sun Jun 07, 2020 at 03:37:10 PM EST
    James Bennet, the NYTimes op-ed editor resigned.  Both sides fairness would require Senator Cotton to resign.

    The NYTimes (none / 0) (#31)
    by Zorba on Thu Jun 04, 2020 at 07:00:00 PM EST
    Has really gone downhill since Dean Baquet took over as executive editor.
    I used to subscribe, but I cancelled some years ago.

    Washington Post Video Timeline (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by KeysDan on Tue Jun 09, 2020 at 03:50:33 PM EST
    Trump's walk in the park with Ivanka, Barr, Milley, Esper, et. al.

    Senator Elizabeth Warren's Amendment (5.00 / 2) (#84)
    by KeysDan on Thu Jun 11, 2020 at 03:13:40 PM EST
    to the National Defense Act that instructs the Military to find different names for bases currently named for Confederate military officers, cleared the Republican-controlled Senate Armed Services Committee by a vote of 25 to 2.  However, Trump has vowed to oppose any changes to the Confederate named base since the bases represent winning. It may yet be possible to persuade Trump by promising to rename all of the bases after members of the Trump Family (e.g. Fort Ivanka).

    The temporary shelving of "Gone With The Wind" may be transectional with the movement to re-name bases.  The historical novel by Margaret Mitchell, upon which the movie is based, offers descriptions of Confederate General Henry Benning (the namesake of Fort Benning, GA)as reflected in the lives of the O'Haras.

    For those movie buffs besides themselves at the temporary loss of the 1939 epic movie, they may take comfort in knowing that the masterful "Went With The Wind", starring Carol Burnett, is still available for your viewing pleasure. Her ball gown, curtain rod and all, beats Scarlet's finest. Fiddle-de-dee.

    Maybe someone (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Jun 12, 2020 at 05:43:44 PM EST
    should inform him that the confederacy lost and confederate sympathizers are losers.

    I think MSNBC (none / 0) (#1)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 03, 2020 at 04:10:57 PM EST
    Is saying Obama will make public comments.  

    The banner says


    maybe video from that event I guess

    Public comments (none / 0) (#2)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 03, 2020 at 04:16:57 PM EST
    And FOX is not carrying them.

    What is the Best Legislative Solution (none / 0) (#3)
    by RickyJim on Wed Jun 03, 2020 at 04:41:17 PM EST
    to improve police behavior?  I have heard about incidents like the Floyd case as long as I can remember.  Even white people have been victims of police overreach.  Lots of posturing and offers of compassion from politicians to the victims but I find no reason to believe anyone has a good idea how to prevent such incidents.

    In larger law enforcement agencies, the pay (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by oculus on Wed Jun 03, 2020 at 05:34:22 PM EST
    and benefits are quite good given that applicants are not required to have a college degree. Many hirees are ex-military.

    There has to be (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by CST on Wed Jun 03, 2020 at 05:44:32 PM EST
    An independent organization that looks into police shootings.  It cannot be handled by the local DA.  It must be handled with transparency and openness as well.

    Cops should be prohibited from working in any police department if they have been fired from another police department for misconduct.

    Revised training needs to be provided for appropriate use of force tactics.

    Cops should be required to have active body cams at all times on duty and any tampering with the body cams should result in firing due to misconduct (see above).

    Public opinion also has to change, otherwise you will never see charges come to fruition.

    Ultimately the entire police culture needs to change.  The bar needs to be raised in terms of who can be a cop, and how long they are trained.  We could afford to pay them better and train them better if we stop paying for them to be armed like a military.  And frankly, most cities could use a lot fewer cops.  I'd take 1 well trained, highly paid cop over 10 goons every day of the week.


    All good proposals (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jun 03, 2020 at 07:22:50 PM EST
    One of the very first things on my list would be to enact laws that would outlaw any form of choke hold or knees to the throat etc. Infractions would result in immediate termination and arrest  of the officer.

    Oh also (none / 0) (#7)
    by CST on Wed Jun 03, 2020 at 05:45:45 PM EST
    They should be required to live within their jurisdiction.

    The training requirements in place are fine, (none / 0) (#14)
    by oculus on Wed Jun 03, 2020 at 09:22:57 PM EST
    And law enforcement must complete ongoing periodic training. But individual law enforcement officers have discretion and must react quickly to the circumstances at hand. Which in no way excuses excessive force such as as in the George case and many others. Another factor, law enforcement unions are strong and politicians value their endorsements and donations.

    That last part (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by CST on Wed Jun 03, 2020 at 10:24:27 PM EST
    Is part of the culture that has to change.

    Rachel Rollins is one local example that I know who is an elected DA that is actively opposed by the police union, nevermind supported, and that's one of the things that got her elected.

    When being supported by the police union starts losing you votes, change might be possible.  At least now we might start finding out.  Bill DeBlasio might find out soon as well, despite the fact that the police union still doesn't like him.  The political calculus has to change, and in some places I think it's starting to.  We will see if this has any impact.


    I don't know about legisative solutions (none / 0) (#4)
    by McBain on Wed Jun 03, 2020 at 05:02:19 PM EST
    but a good way to improve police behavior would be to hire better applicants.  I don't see these charges and the protests/riots improving the talent pool. Also, the good ones who patrol in the neighborhoods that need quality police the most might want to transfer out as soon as possible. Another obstacle a police department can face is funding.  

    The Netflix docuseries Flint Town covers some related issues.


    Your comments (none / 0) (#10)
    by MKS on Wed Jun 03, 2020 at 07:31:42 PM EST
    sound so much like the comments I heard back in the day, when MLK was alive and before it was cool to admire him, that he should stop "stirring up trouble."

    Just be quiet.   And hire better applicants, how--by paying them more?  Yes, that will really teach them a lesson.


    I don't have the answers MKS (none / 0) (#12)
    by McBain on Wed Jun 03, 2020 at 08:16:08 PM EST
    I'm not even sure the problem is as big as hyped.  CST posted some suggestions in this thread. Perhaps others will as well.

    Based on the information I've read, economic class and mental health are the major factors that lead to fatal encounters with police.  I don't see these protests/riots improving those.


    You have absolutely no understanding (5.00 / 3) (#13)
    by Chuck0 on Wed Jun 03, 2020 at 09:19:46 PM EST
    of the power of protest. You obviously don't pay much attention to history. Ever hear of the bus boycotts? Gandhi? Pettis Bridge? Nelson Mandela? Sustained protest can change the world. Gandhi ground a bigoted colonial power to dust.

    The Kent State massacre was not a win for Nixon. A similar event by the thug in the White House will turn out much worse. It will be the MLK and Rodney King riots combined with a whole lots white folk joining in. I'll be on barricades if I have go in a wheelchair.

    I was in DC on April 4,1968. I was almost nine. I saw the anger that night. Scary as hell. 2020 could be worse if Tom Cotton and orange doofus get their way.


    "Hyped" - heh (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by Yman on Thu Jun 04, 2020 at 06:43:58 AM EST
    Why is it that conservatives always try to minimize issues that don't affect them personally?  "Sexu@l assault"? - Meh.  Much ado about nothing.  It's exagerrated.  What "racial discrimination/profiling/abuse of police powers"?  Nah.  Just a few bad apples.  I've never had the police profile me or assault me!  I've never been stopped by police without cause!

    Say the white, male conservatives.


    Your comments are quite chilling (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by MKS on Thu Jun 04, 2020 at 10:10:52 AM EST
    You make a virtue out of your "objectivity" and not getting emotional.  Just plain logic, right?  But we are talking about people, not bugs under glass.

    You are too comfortable with avoiding all "emotion," which serves to dehumanize, and you say you want to look at practical solutions.  This has led you to dismiss civil disobedience as irrelevant. MLK was not practical, I guess.

    Moreover, you purported "objectivity" is quite a cloak for all kinds of assumptions. Funny how those assumptions always work in favor of the police.  You warn about a "rush to judgment" and having learn all the facts first...but you turn learning all the facts into a farce.  Do you really need to know the equivalent of what color socks the victim was wearing?

    Is it so hard to condemn the killing of George Floyd?


    If we want to get things right (none / 0) (#21)
    by McBain on Thu Jun 04, 2020 at 10:45:18 AM EST
    it's important not to let emotion cloud our judgement.  In my opinion, the media along with politicians, civil lawyers and special interest groups have been very successful in getting people to overreact based on emotion for several years now.

    I do feel bad for what happened to George Floyd and what his family are going through but I also feel bad for people who have wrongfully convicted or overcharged.  I hope that doesn't happen in this case.

    I haven't dismissed civil disobedience as irrelevant overall.  I have expressed doubts that the protests/riots of the past week will improve the problems I listed before.



    The casual association of "protests" (5.00 / 6) (#24)
    by Peter G on Thu Jun 04, 2020 at 02:11:28 PM EST
    with "riots" (i.e., sporadic looting and even more isolated acts of arson) kind of says it all, doesn't it? A "riot," I would say, is more like this or perhaps like this, or maybe even this. What has occurred this week and last is not remotely comparable.

    There have been some fatalities (none / 0) (#37)
    by McBain on Fri Jun 05, 2020 at 08:55:23 PM EST
    to go along with the property damage and looting you mentioned.  This hasn't gone well whatever you want to call it.

    End qualified immunity now. (none / 0) (#39)
    by Chuck0 on Sat Jun 06, 2020 at 08:46:05 PM EST
    Start emptying the bank accounts of rogue police. There is no personal consequence when these police flagrantly violate the civil rights of the citizenry. Take their houses, take their cars, whatever they have of value. That will put an end to this cr@p.

    Build a Wall (none / 0) (#22)
    by KeysDan on Thu Jun 04, 2020 at 11:26:03 AM EST
    Additional rings of fencing, an expanded perimeter, and more concrete barriers are being installed at the White House. Trump's link to America, albeit a chain link.

    Isolated (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jun 04, 2020 at 05:04:33 PM EST

    Los Angeles Times: "His decision to invoke a military response to nationwide protests against police brutality -- symbolized by the move Monday to gas mostly peaceful protesters in a park across from the White House to clear the way for a staged photo outside a church -- appears to have been a fateful miscalculation."

    "The incident has created a deep rift between the White House and the Pentagon, and drew an extraordinary rebuke from Trump's former secretary of Defense..."

    "Images of a widening perimeter of fences and concrete barriers that the administration has erected in a several-block area around the White House, as federal agents and troops patrol key intersections, have only deepened the sense of Trump as an isolated, beleaguered figure."

    Two of the officers were rookies (none / 0) (#35)
    by McBain on Fri Jun 05, 2020 at 08:40:09 PM EST
    according to defense lawyers...
    One of the police officers arrested and charged with aiding and abetting the murder of George Floyd was on his fourth day on the job when the incident occurred.

    If that's true and it goes to trial, I wonder if the rookie cops will opt for a bench trial like most of the officers did in the Freddie Gray case.

    Not sure why their status as ... (none / 0) (#36)
    by Yman on Fri Jun 05, 2020 at 08:52:16 PM EST
    ... rookies would affect that decision.  Bench trials are one of the many advantages benefiting police defendants.

    Most likely learned at the academy not (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by oculus on Sat Jun 06, 2020 at 12:27:35 PM EST
    Enable excessive force causing death.

    Police reform (none / 0) (#40)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Sun Jun 07, 2020 at 10:32:14 AM EST
    1. End qualified immunity for the police.  
    2. Decriminalize or end police involvement in victimless crimes.
    3. Eliminate or drastically reduce discriminatory taxes that create black markets. Eric Garner is in part the result.

    I agree with (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Chuck0 on Sun Jun 07, 2020 at 10:27:19 PM EST
    No. 1 and 2 wholeheartedly.

    3. (none / 0) (#45)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Jun 08, 2020 at 08:35:32 AM EST
    Is a version of 2.

    1 and 2 sound good (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by MKS on Mon Jun 08, 2020 at 10:20:41 AM EST
    A couple of convictions of cops, where appropriate, would help.  

    Add a 4. (none / 0) (#59)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Jun 09, 2020 at 02:14:32 PM EST
    4.  Eliminate the ability of police unions to overturn the decision to fire a police officer. Tougher rules won't mean much if firing decisions require a multi-year appeal process ending with a dice roll in arbitration.

    Nope (none / 0) (#42)
    by Yman on Sun Jun 07, 2020 at 09:03:55 PM EST
    Save your anti-tax $hit for your next Tea Party meeting and stop trying to glom onto genuine issues like police brutality, the use of excessive force and racial injustice.  No one cares you're upset you have to spend a little more for your cigarettes or booze.

    I'm upset about Eric Garner (none / 0) (#44)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Jun 08, 2020 at 08:34:01 AM EST

    I didn't realize (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by CST on Mon Jun 08, 2020 at 10:24:02 AM EST
    That the only way to enforce anything is to chokehold someone to death.

    When the government decides that I owe them money they just send me a bill or write me a ticket.  They don't do nothing, and they don't try to kill me.  Amazing stuff really.


    Heh - that's funny (none / 0) (#49)
    by Yman on Mon Jun 08, 2020 at 12:03:17 PM EST
    Your only expression of "remorse" for what happened to Eric Garner was to whine about taxes.  But conservatives usually value money over lives, especially lives of "others".

    Garners death (none / 0) (#58)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Jun 09, 2020 at 02:09:35 PM EST
    is a consequence of using armed police to address the black market created by New York's tax policy. Policies have consequences. Eric Garner's death is one of them.  Making money for organized crime is another.

    That's moronic (none / 0) (#63)
    by Yman on Wed Jun 10, 2020 at 08:12:11 AM EST
    By your logic, any laws that increase costs can create a "black market" and should therefore not exist.  We would have to do away with ALL taxes, environmental regulation, regulatory oversight, etc. etc.  A Tea Partier's wet dream, but laughable "logic" with dire consequences.

    Eric Garner's death was caused by police abuse of power, period.  If you don't like taxes, too bad.  You're not glomming onto legitimate causes because you don't like paying taxes.


    "Sin taxes" (none / 0) (#47)
    by MKS on Mon Jun 08, 2020 at 10:22:20 AM EST
    generate a lot of revenue.

    And decriminalization of drug offenses usually are accompanied by calls to tax the drugs, etc.


    Monkey feces (none / 0) (#50)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jun 09, 2020 at 08:04:15 AM EST
    Donald J. Trump
    Buffalo protester shoved by Police could be an ANTIFA provocateur. 75 year old Martin Gugino was pushed away after appearing to scan police communications in order to black out the equipment.
      I watched, he fell harder than was pushed. Was aiming scanner. Could be a set up?

    The 75-yr-old Catholic Worker (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Peter G on Tue Jun 09, 2020 at 08:34:52 AM EST
    does appear to have something in his right hand, which as I posted earlier looks to me like a pamphlet. I hadn't considered that it might be a sophisticated piece of electronic antisurveillance equipment. If in addition to being a religious pacifist, he could be a pro-violence political activist double agent, now that's something I hadn't considered! Does Antifa have a Gray Panthers wing?

    I thought it was (none / 0) (#52)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jun 09, 2020 at 09:12:21 AM EST
    A cell phone

    Several news reports ... (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by Yman on Tue Jun 09, 2020 at 10:35:40 AM EST
    ... have mentioned he was holding a cell phone.  The OAN conspiracy theory claims he was using a "police tracker" on his phone to ...

    ... do something?  They are, of course, just making $hit up.


    OANN.. (none / 0) (#54)
    by jondee on Tue Jun 09, 2020 at 11:45:49 AM EST
    I like think of them as ONAN, as in, right-wing ONAN-ism.

    In public and over the air.


    Trump needs (none / 0) (#55)
    by KeysDan on Tue Jun 09, 2020 at 12:04:11 PM EST
    to be ready with a second part to the vile fable.  The part where after the policeman sent the elderly man flying, landing on the pavement with a pool of blood seeping  from his ears, the police contingent  just walked over him, offering no help, in fact, stopping one cop who was sort of attempting to check on him.

    Maybe, Trump's next tweet can claim that the man went unnoticed by the police since his white hair made him blend in with the sidewalk.  Oh, and that red stuff was thought to be rose petals thrown at the officer's feet by MAGAs.


    I in-artfully tried to make this point yesterday (none / 0) (#56)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jun 09, 2020 at 12:14:36 PM EST
    He is, from our point of view, the spokesman from god.  

    A true gift.

    No one is going to take anything he says seriously.  About this or defund the police or nothin.   In fact I would say close to 60% would assume the opposite of anything he says.
    So that's good.

    All that said, there are some scary cell phone apps that only need to get near another cell phone or other electronic device..

    I'm jus sayin.


    To be clear (none / 0) (#57)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jun 09, 2020 at 01:43:00 PM EST
    I f'ing love Martin Gugino.  I want to have his children.

    Whatever he was holding in his right hand.   I would be disappointed if it was a brochure.  Sorry.  I really hope he was trying to use scary tech they would not expect from a 74yo.


    Anytime the Dems (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jun 10, 2020 at 05:59:02 PM EST
    Refer to Trump's accusations against Mr. Gugino, they should stress that the organization Martin belongs to is the Catholic Watch and not ANTIFA. Defamation of an apparent devout Catholic gentleman might not sit real well with Catholic voters. Peeling away some votes from voting block would be a good thing.

    Does Trump (none / 0) (#76)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jun 10, 2020 at 07:45:13 PM EST
    even have much Catholic support? It seems that his religious support comes almost exclusively from evangelicals.

    From politico:

    "Only 27 percent of registered voters in a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll said they somewhat or strongly agree that Trump himself is religious, while 55 percent somewhat or strongly disagree. Among subgroups, just over a third of all Christians view the president as religious (50 percent do not), while 23 percent of Catholics and 18 percent of independents see him that way."

    Same poll is reporting his evangelical support has fallen to 40%. I guess that is what was behind the photo op at St. John's in DC.


    He has support (none / 0) (#77)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jun 10, 2020 at 08:22:12 PM EST
    Enough to matter.

    In 2016 exit polls, 23 percent of voters identified as Catholic. President Trump beat Hillary Clinton within that demographic by 4 points, 50 percent to 46 percent.

    ... the president's overall approval rating did increase among registered Catholic voters surveyed. President Trump's job approval among Catholics stands at 47 percent -- less than half of the group though up from 44 percent in November.

    The demographic was starkly divided on how they'll vote in 2020. About one-third of Catholics said they will definitely vote for Trump in 2020 while slightly more reported that they will never vote to reelect the president.

    His strongest support is primarily from people who consider themselves devout or active Catholics.

    Among this subset, Trump's approval rating was 63 percent. A majority of these devout Catholics -- 59 percent -- said that they plan to vote for the president while just 20 percent said they'll vote to oppose Trump.


    Playbook (none / 0) (#61)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jun 09, 2020 at 04:51:37 PM EST
    "The chasm between the president and pretty much everyone else in Washington is growing, as Donald Trump seems more alone and isolated with his thoughts, and detached from the overall political conversation in the Capitol, and the rest of America.

    On Capitol Hill, the president's party is beginning to rally around some overhaul of the laws governing police conduct. Top lawmakers like Sens. John Cornyn of Texas, Mitt Romney of Utah and Tim Scott of South Carolina are busy working up a police reform plan. House Democrats are almost ready to pass their own sweeping package."

    "But in the White House, the president is busy broadcasting a conspiracy theory that people find so alarmingly baseless and in poor taste that the party's top lawmakers are treating it like it's the physical manifestation of the coronavirus itself."

    "The theory -- that a 75-year-old man shoved by police amid protests in Buffalo was a violent antifa foot soldier -- is so zany that Republican senators not only find no need to comment on it, but are refusing to physically view the tweet in public. Gone are the days when lawmakers twisted themselves in pretzels to defend the president. Now they just move on, as if he hardly exists at all."

    He wants people to know black lives matter (none / 0) (#62)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed Jun 10, 2020 at 08:09:53 AM EST
    Seemingly only that very tiny fraction of black lives that end at the hands of police or white people. The enormous body count of young black men killed in cities run by Democrats for decades and decades is a taboo discussion subject.

    Dr. Tyrone Wilson @DrTyroneWilson1
    Jun 8
    In 8 years of residency and attending as a trauma surgeon, I've had 67 young black men end up on my operating table from gunshot wounds.





    No idea who this guy is (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by Yman on Wed Jun 10, 2020 at 10:15:15 PM EST
    Doesn't matter in the least.

    1.  His personal experience with 67 patients means nothing.  Anecdotal evidence means nothing.

    2.  Police killing unarmed black males are doing so with the authority granted by us - nthey're not some random criminal that we don't control.

    3.  "Democratic mayors" - that's moronic.  Shall we talk about all those red states run by Republicans with the highest gun violence rates?

    4.  I googled him.  He's some rightwing whackjob.  Is that all you guys can come up with?

    Gun violence rates. (1.00 / 2) (#83)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Thu Jun 11, 2020 at 12:30:34 PM EST
    Please stay on topic. This thread is not about suicide by firearm.

    That's so cute (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by Yman on Thu Jun 11, 2020 at 05:10:47 PM EST
    This POST is actually about police brutality, excessive force, murder and systemic racism, but someone thinks they got appointed moderator and wants to limit the discussion to gun violence.  Hopefully, that imaginary position doesn't allow the ammo$exuals to carry a real gun - I know how you guys love to play cops or soldiers.


    Funny, how "all lives matter" doesn't apply to suicidal people ... or undocumented immigrants ... or muslims ... or foreigners ... Of course, it doesn't make a difference, since the states with the highest rates of gun violence are also red states with lax gun laws.


    Some agreement. (none / 0) (#88)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Fri Jun 12, 2020 at 07:55:00 PM EST
    This POST is actually about police brutality, excessive force, murder and systemic racism

    Agreed.  It is not about how people choose to commit suicide. It is also about the false narrative that black people are being murdered largely by police and/or white people.


    Such a joke (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by Yman on Fri Jun 12, 2020 at 10:16:13 PM EST
    It is also about the false narrative that black people are being murdered largely by police and/or white people.

    When you can't form a logical argument,  go with a strawman,  huh?  Absolutely no one here made this "false narrative" you're whining about. You'll have to ffg o better than tired,  wingnut strawmen if you ever want to be taken seriously by anyone outside of your OANN/Fox News buddies.


    The same wild-swinging idiot (none / 0) (#64)
    by jondee on Wed Jun 10, 2020 at 09:36:31 AM EST
    who says "Democrats love that George Floyd
    was murdered."

    It also stretches credulity to the breaking point to accept that Wilson was did investigatory follow-up on 67 shootings in order to pinpoint who the perpetrator was in each instance.

    But then, the redolent bs in the second pronouncement dovetails perfectly with the first.


    Murders 2013 FBI (none / 0) (#65)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Jun 10, 2020 at 09:49:58 AM EST
    Male offender: ~90% (none / 0) (#70)
    by leap on Wed Jun 10, 2020 at 02:36:52 PM EST
    So we need to imprison/confine all males until the age of, oh, how about 47. Maybe all those males would have calmed down enough by then. Seems that men are the biggest cause of almost all of the world's various problems, from random violence to bribery to burglary to conning to domestic violence to trespass to sexual predation to environmental atrocities to, well, you name it.

    Whew, I'm over 47. (none / 0) (#73)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Jun 10, 2020 at 02:53:47 PM EST
    Wait, what did I just say?!

    Why? (none / 0) (#66)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed Jun 10, 2020 at 10:12:37 AM EST
    Finding the circumstances at a frequency of less than one a month is not a Herculean task.  

    So he's a doctor/detective? (none / 0) (#67)
    by jondee on Wed Jun 10, 2020 at 10:17:40 AM EST
    sounds like a good basis for a PBS series.

    Sometimes even the cops take months to resolve some of  these case. If they resolve them at all.


    You don't need to be a detective (none / 0) (#82)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Thu Jun 11, 2020 at 12:28:35 PM EST
    To read news reports or police reports. Do you think that fatal shootings by police are seldom reported?

    Police reports (5.00 / 2) (#85)
    by Chuck0 on Thu Jun 11, 2020 at 03:58:59 PM EST
    are some of the most outrageous works of fiction I've ever seen. I've had three cases personally where at least 50% of the information in the "official" police reports was wrong.

    The Louisville PD filed a police report on the death of Breona Taylor that stated she suffered no injuries. Gee, no injuries, she can't possibly be dead then.


    Interesting interview with officer Lane's lawyer (none / 0) (#68)
    by McBain on Wed Jun 10, 2020 at 01:13:43 PM EST
    Earl Gray describes bodycam footage I haven't seen yet.
    He talks about Floyd resisting arrest and CPR efforts his client gave.

    This (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by FlJoe on Wed Jun 10, 2020 at 02:40:23 PM EST
    The attorney for a rookie cop charged in George Floyd's death has criticized bystanders for not intervening during the fatal encounter.

    "If the public is there and they're so in an uproar about this, they didn't intercede either," lawyer Earl Gray, who represents fired Minneapolis cop Thomas Lane, said Monday night on "Cuomo Prime Time."

    Sounds clueless to me.

    To be fair (none / 0) (#74)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Jun 10, 2020 at 03:00:50 PM EST
    they discuss that in the video. Sounds like he's not practiced in the art of being interviewed for national TV news to me.

    From My Vantage Point (none / 0) (#69)
    by RickyJim on Wed Jun 10, 2020 at 01:58:01 PM EST
    I haven't seen the evidence yet that this is definitely a case of racially motivated criminal intent rather than sheer incompetence, especially in regards to the 2 rookies.  The first Rodney King trial in Simi Valley and subsequent riots took place about a year after the beating incident.  Thus I think the defendants' lawyers will try to delay the trial for several years.  The incident will certainly stay alive during the presidential campaign.

    I don't see the case against (none / 0) (#72)
    by McBain on Wed Jun 10, 2020 at 02:48:17 PM EST
    the three officers charged with aiding and abetting so far.

    Chairman of Joint Chiefs (none / 0) (#79)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jun 11, 2020 at 09:03:29 AM EST
    Apologizes for being a tool

    U.S general is sorry for posing with Trump in combat uniform after protesters gassed by goons

    "I should not have been there"

    This is good.

    More (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jun 11, 2020 at 09:13:39 AM EST
    "I should not have been there. My presence in that moment and in that environment created a perception of the military involved in domestic politics. As a commissioned uniformed officer, it was a mistake that I have learned from, and I sincerely hope we all can learn from it," he added.

    "I am outraged by the senseless and brutal killing of George Floyd. His death amplified the pain, the frustration, and the fear that so many of our fellow Americans live with day in, day out," added Milley, in the speech.

    "The protests that have ensued not only speak to his killing, but also to the centuries of injustice toward African Americans," he added, saying "we should all be proud that the vast majority of protests have been peaceful."

    Hopefully (none / 0) (#81)
    by MO Blue on Thu Jun 11, 2020 at 12:25:16 PM EST
    he really did learn from the experience and is much more cautious on when and where he appears with the racist AH.