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Murder By Cop Out of Control in Florida

DOn’t tell the KKK Attorney General this…

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Another survey of police shootings finds wide racial disparities

The Tampa Bay Times has just published a survey of Florida police shootings between 2009 and 2014. What the newspaper found is striking — although if you’ve seen similar studies from other states, it also isn’t terribly surprising.

First, though whites outnumber blacks in Florida by about 3-to-1, the paper found that cops shot more black people than white people. Police groups and their supporters will of course say that this is because blacks commit more crimes, are more likely to confront police, and that police are more likely to find themselves in black neighborhoods.

But the next set of numbers are more difficult to explain away. The paper focused on shootings in which the victim had neither threatened police with a weapon, nor committed a violent crime. If you subscribe to the “police shoot more black people because black people are more likely to be violent criminals” line of thought, you’d expect to see the racial disparity disappear in these numbers, or at least to narrow. Instead, it grew. Black people outnumbered white people in these incidents by nearly 2-to-1 (97-50). Police shot 55 unarmed black people vs. 25 white people. Police shot 15 black people who had been pulled over for only a traffic violation, vs. six white people. They shot 19 black people after mistaking a non-weapon for a weapon, vs. eight white people. They were about three times as likely to shot a black person who was running away (16-5), or who was suspected for a minor crime like drug possession or shoplifting (17-6), and four times as likely to shoot a black person in the back (8-2).

Perhaps most disturbingly, the paper found six incidents in which Florida cops shot a motorist because they mistakenly thought the motorist was reaching for a weapon. Five of those motorists were black. This goes back to the perpetuation of the fear of the ambush traffic stop, which is drummed into the heads of police officers over and over. It isn’t that such incidents never happen, but they’re exceedingly rare — a tiny, tiny fraction of traffic stops. A 2001 study in the Journal of Criminal Science found that even during the 1990s, a much more violent era than the one we live in today, under the worst-case scenario, about 1 in 6.7 million traffic stops resulted in the death of a police officer. When the authors used a more inclusive definition of “traffic stop,” the figure was 1 in 20 million.

Here’s a typical story from the series. The motorist is Rodney Mitchell, a 23-year-old black man and former college football player who was driving home from his job at a department store.

Adam Shaw had made mistakes in 2½ years with the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office. He’d been disciplined for stopping minority residents for seatbelt violations then illegally searching their cars. Now he was part of Operation Armistice. Police were saturating north Sarasota to reduce crime. The black community scornfully called it Operation Amistad, after the slave ship.

Mitchell, in the Jeep with Florida tag GODANGL, was the next target.

Shaw would later say he saw Mitchell wasn’t wearing a seatbelt as the two passed on the road going opposite directions, even if it was nighttime and the Jeep had tinted windows. He would say the car didn’t stop soon enough, and that after it stopped, the driver was moving around a lot inside. He would say the driver refused to put the car into park.

What Mitchell’s 16-year-old cousin remembers from the passenger’s seat is a white cop rushing to the driver’s window and shouting: “Boy, why didn’t you stop the car?”

He remembers another officer walking to the front of the Jeep, the spotlight from his vehicle beaming through the windshield. He remembers Rodney Mitchell’s hands on the steering wheel, and Shaw ordering him to put the car into park. He remembers his unarmed cousin moving his right hand from the wheel toward the gearshift, then the flash from a muzzle, then the sound of four shots.

Pop, pop, pop, pop.

From stop to gunfire: 41 seconds.

Natasha Clemons raced to the scene when a friend called. Police would not let her go to Mitchell, sprawled in the driver’s seat, wearing his seatbelt. She collapsed right there, bathed in the blue lights of the lawmen who killed her only son.

Let’s talk about that seat belt. Last year, I posted about a study by the ACLU of Florida finding that black motorists in Florida are twice as likely as white motorists to be pulled over for seat-belt violations, despite being only slightly less likely to buckle up. (And it isn’t the first time a seat-belt violation has led to a police killing in Florida.)

In short, if you’re black in Florida, you’re more likely than white people to be pulled over for a minor traffic violation. Once you’ve been pulled over, cops are more likely to see you as a threat, more likely to mistake an innocent movement for a furtive gesture, and more likely to mistake an innocuous object in your possession for a weapon. And it’s not all that different if you don’t happen to be in a car.

 
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Posted by on April 7, 2017 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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More People Killed by Police Than Reported

Police kill 135 people in America a month. That seems like a lot. Some…Possibly even most of them are justifiable – but the level of carnage seems rather large. There are about 15,000 murders in the US a year currently, not counted in that total are the 1,620 or so killed either by police actions during arrest, or those who die in incarceration. That means 10% of the people killed in the US…Are killed by the Police either justifiably, or by malignant action. This number is nearly 4 times the number actually reported by the Police.

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Police killing of Jeremy McDole – in Wilmington, Delaware. McDole was wheelchair bound, paralyzed below the waist. There was no gun.

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More People Die in Police Encounters Than We Thought

New federal data offers a more accurate picture.

The number of police-related fatalities in the United States appears to be far higher than the federal government has previously estimated. The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) has been tracking the data since 2000. But a new hybrid program that combines media reports and crowdsourcing techniques with reporting by police agencies has resulted in new estimates of civilian deaths that are closer to reality. The data, released last week, include deaths related to police interactions with subjects on the street as well as deaths that take place while a suspect is in police custody.

The bureau’s researchers identified 1,348 arrest-related deaths from June 2015 through March 2016 using media reports and crowdsourced information—an average of about 135 deaths per month. For June through August 2015, they also surveyed police agencies and identified an additional 46 arrest-related deaths—or 12 percent more—than the number the bureau had tallied independently for that time period. Extrapolating the data, and correcting for the police-reporting disparity, the bureau estimated there were about 1,900 arrest-related deaths in the 12 months ending May 2016.

The lack of reliable federal data on police-involved deaths received national attention in August 2014 after Michael Brown, an unarmed black teen, was killed in Ferguson, Missouri. In the absence of reliable numbers, the Washington Post and the Guardian US began tracking officer-involved killing in 2015 using media reports and crowdsourced information, a model the Department of Justice drew on for its new program. The Guardian US determined that police killed 1,146 people last year during interactions on the street. By contrast, police departments reported just 444 police shootings to the FBI in 2014.

In August, the DOJ announced it would ramp up enforcement of the 2000 Death in Custody Reporting Act (DCRA), which stipulates that states that do not provide quarterly reports on arrest-related deaths could lose up to 10 percent of their DOJ funding. But the enforcement mechanism was only incorporated in 2014, and a DOJ assessment determined that BJS had been capturing only about half the true number of arrest-related deaths—in part because most law enforcement agencies simply ignored the reporting mandate. It is unknown whether the act will be strictly enforced under the Trump administration. The president-elect and his prospective attorney general, Jeff Sessions, have criticized the DOJ’s involvement in local policing.

 
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Posted by on December 28, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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5 (or more) People Shot In Seattle

During an anti-Trump demonstration.

Police are claiming the two are not connected…

At least 5 people shot in downtown Seattle, police say

Authorities say five people with gunshot wounds have been taken to a hospital after a shooting in downtown Seattle.

Seattle Police tweeted that officers are investigating the incident which took place Wednesday evening near Pine Street and Third Avenue.

The Seattle Fire Department said on Twitter that two of the five people shot have life-threatening injuries.

No further information was immediately available.

The report of the shooting came in around 6:50 p.m. when people were protesting Donald Trump, CBS affiliate KIRO reports. Police say the shooting is not related to the people who were protesting in downtown

 
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Posted by on November 10, 2016 in Second American Revolution

 

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United Nations – Police Killings in US are Modern Day Lynchings

Tell it like it is…

Police Killings of Black Men Are the Modern-Day Lynchings: UN

There are over four times as many police killings a year as the worst years in lynchings and executions.

Police killings of Black people in the United States are reminiscent of lynchings and the government must do far more to protect them, a United Nations working group says in a report that will be debated at the U.N. Human Rights Council on Monday.

The hard-hitting criticism—drawing a comparison between modern police behavior and mob killings of Black people in the 19th and 20th centuries—comes at a time of renewed racial tension in the United States.

This week Charlotte, North Carolina, saw street riots over the shooting of a Black man, Keith Lamont Scott, by a Black police officer. On Friday, a white police officer who fatally shot an unarmed Black man turned herself into authorities in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

“Contemporary police killings and the trauma that they create are reminiscent of the past racial terror of lynching,” said the report by the U.N. Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent.

Most lynching victims died by hanging. A 2015 report by a non-profit organization, the Equal Justice Initiative, said 3,959 Black people were killed in “racial terror lynchings” in a dozen southern states between 1877 and 1950.

“In particular, the legacy of colonial history, enslavement, racial subordination and segregation, racial terrorism and racial inequality in the United States remains a serious challenge, as there has been no real commitment to reparations and to truth and reconciliation for people of African descent,” said the report. “Impunity for state violence has resulted in the current human rights crisis and must be addressed as a matter of urgency.”

Police killings go unpunished because initial investigations are usually conducted by the police department where the alleged perpetrator works because prosecutors have wide discretion over presenting charges and because the use of force is not subject to international standards, the experts’ group said.

They recommended the United States create a reliable national system to track killings and excessive use of force by law enforcement officials, and end racial profiling, which is “a rampant practice and seriously damages the trust between African-Americans and law enforcement officials.”

To improve race relations, education should be “accompanied by acts of reconciliation” to overcome bigotry and past injustices, while federal and state laws should recognize the negative impact of enslavement and racial injustice, the report added.

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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“Gangsta” Toddlers Have Shot 23 People So Far This Year!

How common is it that 3 year olds get hold of guns in the house or car?

Waaaaay more common that you would believe.

Toddlers have shot at least 23 people this year

This past week, a Milwaukee toddler fatally shot his mother after finding a handgun in the back seat of the car they were riding in. The case drew a lot of national attention given the unusual circumstances: Little kids rarely kill people, intentionally or not.

But this type of thing happens more often than you might think. Since April 20, there have been at least seven instances in which a 1- , 2- or 3-year-old shot themselves or somebody else in the United States:

Last year, a Washington Post analysis found that toddlers were finding guns and shooting people at a rate of about one a week. This year, that pace has accelerated. There have been at least 23 toddler-involved shootings since Jan. 1, compared with 18 over the same period last year.

In the vast majority of cases, the children accidentally shoot themselves. That’s happened 18 times this year, and in nine of those cases the children died of their wounds.

Toddlers have shot other people five times this year. Two of those cases were fatal: this week’s incident in Milwaukee, and that of a 3-year-old Alabama boy who fatally shot his 9-year-old brother in February….Read the Rest Here

 
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Posted by on May 2, 2016 in American Genocide

 

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Really Bad Idea From Gun Nuts

Some years ago, I had a friend who was a gunsmith. He loved to tinker and try modifications to weapons. He came up with a machine pistol, capable of firing 1300 rounds per minute. The difference between his new gun and everything else on the market at that time, was a unique compensation system he invented, which vastly reduced recoil – meaning the gun on full auto didn’t pull off target as it was fired. He thought the Military would jump all over it, so he made two copies and tried to sell it to them. There were several other potential customers in Federal Law Enforcement he demonstrated the weapon to. The post-Vietnam Military wasn’t interested in small, handheld weapons. The Law Enforcement agencies went nuts, even though the weapon could never be sold legally to the public – and had it banned from production in the US and banned for export. The rationale was that if a bad guy ever got hold of one of them, because of it’s small size and conceal ability, rate of fire, and accuracy he would be virtually unstoppable. The two prototypes were destroyed.

I think this gun should be banned. First, from a Law Enforcement standpoint a Cop will never know whether that Cell Phone a suspect  has is really a Cell Phone – resulting in numerous killings of innocent people. Next, something like this provides the conceal-ability which would allow a John Hinckley character, who shot President Reagan to get close enough undetected to assassinate a political figure. Hinckley used a .32 Caliber which is significantly smaller. The inventor is lying in the below article about the effectiveness of the .380 round. It is, in terms of destructive power, only a step or two below that of a 9 mm. Generally it is used in small, semiautomatic handguns, which don’t have the accuracy or range of bigger guns due to the barrel length.

I’ve seen some pretty crazy stuff out there, including laptops which convert into sub-machine guns. But those types of systems are no available to the general public, and require stringent licensing.

This is absolutely STUPID nuts.

A New Gun Folds Up To Look Just Like A Smartphone

Its creator wanted a more discreet firearm to carry around.

This is not a smartphone. This is a gun.

It’s the Ideal Conceal, a .380-caliber pistol that folds up into a box shape. The creator designed the firearm to look like a phone so people could carry it around in public without attracting attention.

Here’s what it looks like when it’s ready for action:

Note – there appears to be capability to mount an internal laser sight on the front.

Ideal Conceal’s website explains the logic behind the $395 gun: “Smartphones are EVERYWHERE, so your new pistol will easily blend in with today’s environment. In its locked position it will be virtually undetectable because it hides in plain sight.”

The website also advises folks to check local concealed carry laws before purchasing the firearm.

Kirk Kjellberg, CEO of Minnesota-based company Ideal Conceal, told a local news outlet that he came up with the concept for the pistol after a boy in a restaurant noticed he was carrying a concealed gun. Kjellberg has a concealed carry permit and a firearm license, he told The Huffington Post, but he added that it’s still “pretty embarrassing when people stare at you.”

“A little child, a boy about 7, saw me, and said, ‘Mommy, Mommy, that guy’s got a gun!’ And the whole restaurant of course turns and stares at you. And I thought, there’s just got be something better,” said Kjellberg, per NBC affiliate KARE in Minneapolis.

Critics of the gun have pointed out that it could pose a security risk in public places like airports, according to KARE. But Kjellberg insists the gun is meant for people concerned about their own personal safety.

“We don’t want anything sinister to go on with it,” Kjellberg told KARE. “It’s just made for mainstream America, not criminal enterprise.”

He told HuffPost that the gun, which holds two rounds, isn’t very powerful. “If you’re going to try to hurt somebody, it will probably take more firepower,” Kjellberg said. 

There were 13,286 gun deaths in U.S. in 2015. Between 2007 and 2013, people carrying concealed weapons were responsible for nearly 500 civilian deaths, according to the Violence Policy Institute.

In recent years, police have shot and killed several people carrying items mistaken for guns. In January, police in Las Vegas shot and killed an unarmed man carrying a cell phone that looked to police like a firearm.

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2016 in American Greed, Domestic terrorism

 

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Getting Away With Murder – 10,000 Shootings…13 Convictions

Since 2005, only 13 cops have been convicted of murder. Using this year as a baseline where Police shot over 1,000 citizens…That could be 10,000 shootings in the last decade. We know that a lot of those shootings haven’t exactly been the stereotypical shootout with Bank Robbers. And to update the author of this piece…There is something wrong with this picture.

Here’s How Many Cops Got Convicted Of Murder Last Year For On-Duty Shootings

There’s something strange about this picture.

Many people viewed 2015 as a year of reckoning for police, with continued scrutiny of the use of deadly force spurring momentum for reform. In reality, however, the road to accountability remains a long one.

That point is clearly reflected in the number of police officers who were convicted on murder or manslaughter charges last year for fatally shooting a civilian in the line of duty.

In 2015, that number was zero.

And that’s not unusual. No officers were convicted on such charges in 2014 either.

In fact, since 2005, there have only been 13 officers convicted of murder or manslaughter in fatal on-duty shootings, according to data provided to The Huffington Post by Philip Stinson, an associate professor of criminology at Ohio’s Bowling Green State University. Stinson’s data doesn’t include cases in which civilians died in police custody or were killed by other means, or those in which officers only faced lesser charges.

One of the last successful convictions came in 2013, when Culpeper Town, Virginia, police officer Daniel Harmon-Wright was sentenced to three years in jail for voluntary manslaughter charges in the slaying of Patricia Cook, an unarmed 54-year-old, a year earlier.

On Feb. 9, 2012, Harmon-Wright responded to a suspicious vehicle call and found Cook parked in a local Catholic school parking lot. In court, Harmon-Wright said when he asked Cook for her driver’s license, she rolled up her window, trapping his arm, before beginning to drive away. Harmon-Wright responded by unloading seven rounds into Cook, with fatal shots hitting her in the back and head. But a jury didn’t find the officer’s testimony credible, returning a guilty verdict on three charges in the shooting death. After serving out his sentence, Harmon-Wright was releasedin 2015.

Some officers in these cases have served out yearslong sentences for their crimes. Others were in and out of jail in months. Some even became police officers again. But only a tiny portion of cops who kill while on duty ever face charges for their actions, much less actual punishment.

The inability to convict police on murder or manslaughter charges for fatal on-duty shootings contrasts with a recent increase in prosecution, Stinson said. In 2015, 18 officers faced such charges, a significant increase from an average of around five officers each year over the preceding decade. Many of these cases involved incidents from previous years and have yet to go to trial, but if history is any indicator, it seems unlikely that many of the officers will be convicted.

The tiny number of convictions in fatal police shootings looks even smaller when you consider just how many cases the criminal justice system considers each year. Although there are no reliable government statistics on civilians killed by police, data compiled independently last year by outlets like The Guardian and The Washington Post, or civilian tracker Mapping Police Violence, have led to estimates of roughly 1,000 deadly shootings each year.

Of that total, prosecutors and grand juries around the nation each year have determined that around five of these cases involve misconduct worthy of manslaughter or murder charges. And in the end, the criminal justice system typically concludes that only around one shooting each year is consistent with manslaughter or murder.

This means the overwhelming majority of police shooting cases are ultimately determined to be justified homicides, in which deadly force was used lawfully, often in what police say was an effort to protect an officer’s safety or to prevent harm to the public.

One reason for the lack of prosecution and subsequent conviction begins with the Supreme Court’s legal standard for use of lethal force. According to Graham v. Connor, the landmark 1989 case that established the standard, each “use of force must be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene, rather than with the 20/20 vision of hindsight.” The ruling specifically cautions against judging police too harshly for split-second decisions made in “tense, uncertain and rapidly evolving” situations. All of this gives officers plenty of leeway to explain why their actions were legal…Read the rest Here

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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