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Old June 8 2015, 02:22 PM   #1
Robert Maxwell
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The Misc. Police Racism and Brutality Megathread

Since the old one got shut down (RIP), here is a new thread for discussing police abuse and brutality in the US, especially as it pertains to the treatment of people of color.

Here are a couple of "fun" stories for today.

Black kids show up to a public pool to enjoy some fun on a hot day. This is not going to go anywhere positive, is it?

Nope!

When Miles Jai Thomas arrived at a party at the Craig Ranch North Community Pool in McKinney, Texas, on Friday night, the pool was open to everyone -- until a security guard showed up and removed black partygoers from the area.

“Then he started making up rules to keep us out,” Thomas, 15, told The Huffington Post.

A white woman at the pool started making racist comments, Thomas said, such as telling black teens at the party to get used to the bars outside the pool because that’s all they were going to see.

Grace Stone, 14, who is white, told BuzzFeed News that she and friends objected to an adult woman making racist comments to other teens at the party and that the woman turned violent.

This is when, according to Thomas, a 19-year-old black woman told the belligerent white woman to stop fighting with the teenagers. The white woman called the black woman a “young bitch,” then walked up to her. After the young woman said her age out loud, the older woman punched her in the face. Another unidentified white woman jumped in as well before Thomas, who was recording the incident, and his friends went to break it up.
Then the cops showed up.



Fortunately, the cop involved has been suspended since it's a little ridiculous to rush into a neighborhood and draw your gun on people who aren't doing anything.

And here's another fun video of a different incident. Some people try an experiment: a white guy open-carries an AR-15. The cop he encounters is clearly not thrilled with his behavior but doesn't lose his shit over it.

Same experiment is also tried, but with a black man carrying the rifle.

No points for guessing how police react to that.



Fortunately, in both these cases, no one was seriously hurt or killed. Nevertheless, events like this seem to be daily life for black Americans, at least whenever they encounter the police.

So, does the US have a policing problem? A racist policing problem? Is there anyone who would argue it doesn't, at this point?
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Old June 8 2015, 02:55 PM   #2
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Re: The Misc. Police Racism and Brutality Megathread

Thanks for starting this. I had to close the other thread down because of drama, but I definitely think this is a subject worthy of continuous attention and discussion.
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Old June 8 2015, 03:02 PM   #3
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Re: The Misc. Police Racism and Brutality Megathread

Based on the alleged comments by adult civilians, I don't think we can narrowly define it as a racist policing problem. It sounds more like the general attitude of the community that's hiring these officers. It's fine that children are becoming more aware of racism and ways to reduce it, but the people who really need the training got out of school long ago.
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Old June 8 2015, 03:18 PM   #4
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Re: The Misc. Police Racism and Brutality Megathread

Melakon wrote: View Post
Based on the alleged comments by adult civilians, I don't think we can narrowly define it as a racist policing problem. It sounds more like the general attitude of the community that's hiring these officers. It's fine that children are becoming more aware of racism and ways to reduce it, but the people who really need the training got out of school long ago.
I don't really get what you're saying.

I don't think systemic racism is in any way isolated or confined to police, it's just that police tend to be the front line of interaction between citizens and their government. When you combine this with a system that is already predisposed to treating black people poorly (which ours certainly is), and have police who've been indoctrinated with (or brought with them) an "us vs. them" mentality, you have a recipe for incidents like this, and much worse.

It's not solely about racism, sure, but neither can we deny that racism is a major component of this problem.

It's not as if police tend to roll up on white kids and shoot them, and yet we have numerous examples of exactly that happening to young black people.

The issue at this point isn't really one of training, either. It's about what behavior is tolerated and what isn't. When prosecutors won't charge bad cops, when grand juries won't indict them, and when judges and juries won't convict them, you send a clear message that this behavior is perfectly fine and you'll face no consequences for it.

That has to change, regardless of whatever new training regimen is introduced. And that's the kind of system/society wide change you only get by raising up these issues and making it to clear to everyone what's going on, and how unjust it is.

Some people may be full-on racists about it and just think "meh, whatever, just dead n*****s," but I don't believe most people think that way. They're just genuinely ignorant of how bad the situation is, and might think differently about it if they really knew what was going on.
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Old June 8 2015, 04:06 PM   #5
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Re: The Misc. Police Racism and Brutality Megathread

Good thread RobMax, sadly one that has been needed for some time.
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Old June 8 2015, 05:05 PM   #6
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Re: The Misc. Police Racism and Brutality Megathread

Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
A racist policing problem?
I think it is fairly obvious that we do at this point. Have we ever heard of a cop of any race body slamming a 14 year-old white girl in a bikini?
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Old June 8 2015, 09:09 PM   #7
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Re: The Misc. Police Racism and Brutality Megathread

I believe the militarization of our police forces is the problem. They are using military weapons, hiring combat soldiers, etc. I am against hiring combat soldiers, because many tend to believe they are still at war, often to disastrous results.

Those of us who remember the 1960s still retain images of police beating unarmed civilians who dare to disagree with our government. Current images are disturbingly similar. Images of police beating black civilians who dared to stand up for their right to equality remind me of Baltimore, Fulton and other peaceful protests.

Nowhere in the posted video did I see police grab any white people... at all. Only the black children. That the bystanders encouraged this behavior proves that the community condones this behavior. The only ray of hope was in seeing the white man offer aid and comfort to those poor children.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I am a combat veteran who was hired as a police officer upon returning to civilian life. I speak from experience. I left the force after seeing racism and favoritism rampant in Southern police forces.
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Old June 8 2015, 09:32 PM   #8
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Re: The Misc. Police Racism and Brutality Megathread

It is probably for the best that this sort of shit never goes down where I live.

If I had seen the whole thing, that one cop probably wouldn't be happy with me, telling them that if they are going to arrest anyone, they should be arresting the mom who was instigated and was laughing at the whole thing. I would've been tempted to attempt a citizen's arrest myself, because that sort of behavior pisses me off!

I'm white, so he probably wouldn't've drawn his gun on me while I would've been trying to come to that young women's defense, unless I did it at the same time that her friends tried to do something, but I imagine I'd be the second non-black kid forced to sit in that grass, and my parents wouldn't've been happy with me by the end of the day.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I am a combat veteran who was hired as a police officer upon returning to civilian life. I speak from experience. I left the force after seeing racism and favoritism rampant in Southern police forces.[/QUOTE]

I would be surprised if you were the only one who has quit the force out of disgust of the racism/favoritism that seems to be running rampant.
A pity, since I'm sure these folks are always hoping for an officer who is impartial, and will come to listen to their side of the story.

I would hope that maybe then, racists who antagonizes occasions like this might find themselves in handcuffs, rather than laughing from the sidelines.

Or maybe I'm just naive, since I don't know how the dynamics work between different police officers who have different points of view.

Last edited by JES; June 8 2015 at 09:44 PM.
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Old June 8 2015, 09:50 PM   #9
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Re: The Misc. Police Racism and Brutality Megathread

Sector 7 wrote: View Post
I believe the militarization of our police forces is the problem.
Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces is a great book on the issue.
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Old June 8 2015, 11:02 PM   #10
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Re: The Misc. Police Racism and Brutality Megathread

Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
Melakon wrote: View Post
Based on the alleged comments by adult civilians, I don't think we can narrowly define it as a racist policing problem. It sounds more like the general attitude of the community that's hiring these officers. It's fine that children are becoming more aware of racism and ways to reduce it, but the people who really need the training got out of school long ago.
I don't really get what you're saying.

I don't think systemic racism is in any way isolated or confined to police, it's just that police tend to be the front line of interaction between citizens and their government. When you combine this with a system that is already predisposed to treating black people poorly (which ours certainly is), and have police who've been indoctrinated with (or brought with them) an "us vs. them" mentality, you have a recipe for incidents like this, and much worse.

It's not solely about racism, sure, but neither can we deny that racism is a major component of this problem.

It's not as if police tend to roll up on white kids and shoot them, and yet we have numerous examples of exactly that happening to young black people.

The issue at this point isn't really one of training, either. It's about what behavior is tolerated and what isn't. When prosecutors won't charge bad cops, when grand juries won't indict them, and when judges and juries won't convict them, you send a clear message that this behavior is perfectly fine and you'll face no consequences for it.

That has to change, regardless of whatever new training regimen is introduced. And that's the kind of system/society wide change you only get by raising up these issues and making it to clear to everyone what's going on, and how unjust it is.

Some people may be full-on racists about it and just think "meh, whatever, just dead n*****s," but I don't believe most people think that way. They're just genuinely ignorant of how bad the situation is, and might think differently about it if they really knew what was going on.
Melakon can correct me if I'm reading what he said wrong, but in the context that he used the word "training," it seems that he meant "becoming more aware of racism and ways to reduce it," the passage I've underlined. Is training the right word for this sort of thing? Probably not; either instruction or education in anti-racism would both probably have been both clearer and more apt.

Otherwise, you and Melakon seem to be saying very similar things and making many of the same points.

Melakon said that the problem of racist police behavior has broader roots than just the police themselves and extends into the policed community. You said that prosecutors, grand juries, judges, and juries are part of the problem. There is a great deal of overlap in these positions.

You said that training can't solve the problem of how prosecutors, grand juries, judges, and juries behave, and that's certainly true if one means training of the police. Melakon's point seemed to be that, since they are out of school now, there is no institutional mechanism available to instruct adults who are in the community at large in anti-racism. Here, too, there is a great deal of overlap. Again, it seems that the issue of misunderstanding comes down to use of the word "training."
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Old June 8 2015, 11:17 PM   #11
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Re: The Misc. Police Racism and Brutality Megathread

Jedi_Master wrote: View Post
Good thread RobMax, sadly one that has been needed for some time.

I would rather say sadly one that shouldn't be needed.
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Old June 8 2015, 11:18 PM   #12
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Re: The Misc. Police Racism and Brutality Megathread

Melakon can correct me if I'm reading what he said wrong, but in the context that he used the word "training," it seems that he meant "becoming more aware of racism and ways to reduce it," the passage I've underlined. Is training the right word for this sort of thing? Probably not; either instruction or education in anti-racism would both probably have been both clearer and more apt.
That sounds pretty good. It was 7am when I wrote that earlier, the cooling system had been out for over 48 hours, so I'm not sure what I was trying to say.
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Old June 9 2015, 12:07 AM   #13
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Re: The Misc. Police Racism and Brutality Megathread

BillJ wrote: View Post
Sector 7 wrote: View Post
I believe the militarization of our police forces is the problem.
Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces is a great book on the issue.
Double recommended. This is the probably the best text on this issue.
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Old June 9 2015, 12:27 AM   #14
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Re: The Misc. Police Racism and Brutality Megathread

Yesterday, a video appeared in my Facebook feed about Josh Duggar. I clicked on it and started to read some of the comments most of which were stating that Josh was only a child and it was just typical teenage behaviour, God and his sisters had forgiven him etc. Thinking WTF, I looked at whose page it was and it was Fox News Video.

Today, after reading about the pool party and the treatment of the girl, I decided to go to Fox News Video to see if it was being covered. Unsurprisingly it was and most of the comments were saying the girl deserved her treatment, that a 15 year old should know not to behave like that etc.

I think that this shows how differently black children are treated when compared to privileged white children, at least by some people.
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Old June 9 2015, 12:30 AM   #15
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Re: The Misc. Police Racism and Brutality Megathread

Sector 7 wrote: View Post
I believe the militarization of our police forces is the problem.
Absolutely agreed, one hundred percent. The response of the police in Ferguson to some instances of unrest was to break out weapons that would constitute war crimes in a military conflict.
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