Friday, August 31, 2012

LA Officers Body Slam White Woman Twice During Texting Traffic Stop

Hat Tip to Frank, who submitted this video.

In this YouTube video, LA police bodily drag and lift a woman out of the driver seat of her car, body-slam her on the ground, handcuff her, and then body-slam her again! The woman is a 34 year-old registered nurse, says the video, and police were engaged in a "routine" traffic stop because the woman was allegedly using her cell-phone while driving.

After leaving the woman bruised and battered in the patrol car, these two armed and large police officers bump fists to congratulate one another for what they apparently believe to have been an heroic arrest.

According to the LA Times Blog,

The videotaped confrontation between two Los Angeles Police Department officers and a woman was disturbing and will be fully investigated, Police Chief Charlie Beck said.

“I have serious concerns about this incident," Beck said. "Every Los Angeles police officer, regardless of rank, will be held accountable for their actions."

The commanding officer of the Los Angeles Police Department's Foothill Division was reassigned Wednesday, a day after video was broadcast showing two of his officers twice body-slamming a 34-year-old nurse to the pavement, once while she was in handcuffs.

The move to reassign Capt. Joseph Hiltner, as well as bump him from his current Captain III rank to a lower pay grade of Captain I, was announced by Beck at a news conference Wednesday evening at LAPD headquarters.

Hiltner, a 34-year LAPD veteran, could not be reached for comment Wednesday night.

Beck said Internal Affairs detectives have launched a criminal and administrative investigation into the Aug. 21 use-of-force incident, which began after the officers pulled over Michelle Jordan at a Del Taco restaurant in Tujunga because she was holding a cellphone while driving.

LAPD brass didn't find out about the incident until the department was contacted by a KNBC reporter asking for comment Tuesday about the incident and black-and-white security surveillance footage that captured the officers' actions, police officials said.

As the 5-foot 4-inch Jordan left her vehicle, she allegedly failed to comply with officers' commands to get back into the car and was slammed to the ground by the male officers and placed in handcuffs, according to police officials.

While handcuffed, she was led to the officers' patrol car. Moments later, she was slammed again to the pavement, apparently with more force, by one of the officers, who was much larger than Jordan, the officials said.

The video footage appears to show the two officers exchanging high fives after Jordan was taken down.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Police Shoot Milton Hall 30 Times in Unjustified Killing

In the above video, Saginaw, MI police shoot at Milton Hall, a 47 year-old Black man who his family says suffered from "serious mental health issues," shot at approximately 46 times by six police officers, according to Michigan Live news. Police officers fire 30 shots that actually strike and and kill Mr. Hall.

Police apparently say that they were called to the scene because the man they shot was involved in an incident with a convenience store clerk beforehand.

One witness who observed the shooting said that Mr. Hall assumed a karate posture before police shot at him. It is not clear how it has become accepted as a matter of fact that Mr. Hall was holding a knife when police shot him, although it must be true that police say he was holding a knife, because that appears in the various news reports. One news video said police said the man was holding "some sort of knife."

The lack of specificity leads me to wonder why the police cannot say or have not said exactly what "sort of knife" the man was holding. To my eyes, the knife is not visible in the video. Was he holding a knife or wasn't he, I would like to know? Was he holding the same knife in the convenience store and, if so, is there any video confirming that?

It seems to me, based on watching the video and listening to the shouts of Mr. Hall, that Mr. Hall was in a self-destructive and combative state of mind when he was confronted by the police and shot. In the video, Mr. Hall says, "My name is Milton Hall and I just called the police." Then he challenges the police, shouting, "Let the dog go! Let the motherfucking dog go!" The dog is not visible in the video and it is not clear whether police did let the dog go and, if not, then why not, as an alternative to shooting Mr. Hall 30 times without releasing the dog.

It seems to me, based on the video, that Mr. Hall instigated the confrontation himself because he was in a self-destructive and mentally agitated state of mind. When confronted with potentially overwhelming force, including six police officers, the dog and their guns, he invited the police to use such force as they wished. That is consistent with the "serious mental health issues" from which the family told the media Hall suffered.

Mr. Hall seems to me to have committed suicide by cop, but did police make it too easy for him? Was this an assisted suicide? It seems clear that, even if Mr. Hall was holding a knife (that hasn't been presented for public inspection), police could still have released the dog to disable the man; could have shot the man in the leg or arm; could have thrown a net over him and toppled him to the ground; could have toppled him with a fire hose, and could have employed a myriad other strategies instead of and before shooting this man to kill.

I surmise that these police officers, instead of using problem-solving skills that a game control officer would use to capture an wild animal alive, were intent only on arresting Mr. Hall, dead or alive. When one officer decided to shoot him, they all did so until he was dead, instead of one of them taking announcing to the others that he would shoot Mr. Hill until he was disabled, but not necessarily until he was dead.

Was the police's homicidal behavior aroused by a knife or by Mr. Hall's skin color? What seems shocking about videos such as this one is that, although Blacks are a mere 13% of the population of the United States, people with brown skin seem to represent virtually all of the victims of shootings such as this one. If there are cases in which police shoot white-skinned knife wielders thiry times, none of us seems to be aware of those cases. That is, perhaps, because they don't exist.

Instead, police seem to arrive on the scene, observe or know already that the confrontation involves a Black person, and then mete out the treatment that they regularly use in cases involving Black people, including unnecessary lethal force and/or barbaric and atrocious reprehensible force and other behavior. Police know that there are rarely serious consequences for behaving in this way in incidents with Black people, but there might be a national firestorm of unprecedented proportions if they treated a white person in the same way. It would not be long tolerated and police would face serious consequences typically do not accrue when they kill a man with brown skin.

The media reports say local residents are angry that, after six weeks, the police have not reported the results of an internal investigation of the shooting. One problem of US conflict between police forces and the public is that police forces themselves are charged with the task of investigating their own behavior and incidents that raise questions about their own judgments.

Police certainly should gather all of the information that is available. Rather than release a statement about their findings, they should release all of the information they have gathered, including ballistics reports, recordings, officer, witness and family statements, and other information that would assist members of the public, the district attorney, attorneys for the family, the media, state and federal authorities in determining whether police behavior is problematic and what should be done about it.

Clearly, police perform various functions in the process of an investigation of themselves. They gather information internally; try to manage the public's anger, distrust and demands; engage in efforts to limit the damage to police and municipal interests that has been caused by an incident; defend a city and individual police officers from civil liability; protect police officers and their superiors from potential criminal liability and manage the public's perception of and acceptance of police behavior and authority.

It ought to be clear to the public that no unbiased "determination" about a shooting can come from an agency whose self-interests are so many and are so potentially and directly in opposition to the public's interest in knowing the truth. For these reasons, an investigation conducted by the police is unlikely to reveal any account of the facts that is unbiased in its investigation, compilation and publicly announced conclusions.

Rather than clamor for the police to complete an investigation, the public might more usefully clamor for access to physical evidence and police statements that could subsequently become evidence in a civil suit. The same evidence that would be the basis of a civil judgment is evidence that the public should demand to see in order to understand and judge the facts involving those who are ostensibly public servants. Although the demands might be met with silence, at least the demands themselves would be more educative and less misleading and beguiling of the public's expectations.

Since any police report is typically summary (does not include underlying evidence) and biased, I don't understand why the public would or should ask for such a report at all. It's a futile waste of time and energy, except for fulfilling any formal requirements that a complaint be lodged.

There are many strategy alternatives that Blacks might conceivably employ to seek justice or provide a police deterrent in cases like this one. Demanding a police review seems more like an exercise in futility than a strategy, unless it is coupled with the preparation of a civil suit and taking other measures. It's a dilatory request for a foregone conclusion.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Cops Shoot and Kill Handcuffed Black Man, Chavis Carter, in Squad Car

Same old color aroused hatred, 2012 style. While most people are celebrating what good about America, another 21-year-old black man was shot in the head and killed while handcuffed in the back of a patrol car.  Get this, now the police have launched a bogus investigation to determine what happened! WE know what happened the police killed a man for running his mouth and selling marijuana. They acted as jury and executionors. You see,
Chavis Carter was a passenger in a pickup truck that was stopped by police in Jonesboro, Ark., Saturday night, according to KAIT, an ABC-affiliated television station. An officer reportedly found some marijuana, and ran Carter's information. He was wanted on a warrant out of Mississippi, so officers placed him in a patrol car.

Get this, the police say, "As protocol, he was handcuffed behind his back, double-locked and searched," said Jonesboro Police Department Sgt. Lyle Waterworth in an interview with WREG-TV.
Just minutes later, police said they heard a thumping noise, turned around and found Carter shot in the head. Right! You got to be kidding me right!  The police said they heard a thumping noise, turned around and found Carter shot in the head. This is cold blooded murder folks. There is more stupidity coming from these bigots. Get this, Police say they think Carter pulled out a hidden gun and shot himself. “Any given officer has missed something on a search, you know, be it drugs, be it knives, be it razor blades," he said. "This instance, it happened to be a gun."  OK, so a handcuffed black man shot himself in the head? Community leaders are having none of this!
His mother, Teresa Carter, disagrees. "I think they killed him," she said. "My son wasn't suicidal."  Carter said she was also told her son was shot in the right temple, although he was left-handed.  Get this, The two officers who were present when Carter was found shot were placed on administrative leave.
Let's see how powerful the National Office of the NAACP is? Is it a paper tiger organization? Instead of giving image awards, they should be in the hood addressing the real issues impacting urban America. Hat Tip to the Ed Show, The Huffington Post and others for addressing this issue.