The 2020 George Floyd/BLM/Police Brutality Protests Discussion Thread

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That story borders on unbelievable. And yet you think to yourself, "Then again..."

It's taken what, 6 years to get to trial?

It's very easy to see why people think that the system is injust, when even patently obvious injustice drags out to the point of meaninglessness.
 

Dotini

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It's very easy to see why people think that the system is injust, when even patently obvious injustice drags out to the point of meaninglessness.
Sometimes strictly following the law takes too long to satisfy public opinion. Should instant justice through mob rule or popular opinion be tried instead?
 

Scaff

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Sometimes strictly following the law takes too long to satisfy public opinion. Should instant justice through mob rule or popular opinion be tried instead?
No, we should have as justice system that hasn't been so undernminned by the goverment that its becoming unsustainable.

In further news of the UK's lack of systemic racism, the government wants to deport someone who was born as raised in the UK...

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/...vAU64fQCapQSe85s0Ed5CvgI5aFEpiYuvGMDHkRlprCtY

...AGAIN!
 

Dotini

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No, we should have as justice system that hasn't been so undernminned by the goverment that its becoming unsustainable.
If government undermines justice to the point of it becoming unsustainable, does that imply the government, state or the nation might also become unsustainable? Is it time for revolutionary change? Or is it time for reactionary resistance to change, or perhaps both? Oh what a joy civilization is, a mighty contest for power and wealth for the few, and a (hopefully) ceaseless entertainment for the rest of us.
 

Danoff

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If government undermines justice to the point of it becoming unsustainable, does that imply the government, state or the nation might also become unsustainable? Is it time for revolutionary change? Or is it time for reactionary resistance to change, or perhaps both? Oh what a joy civilization is, a mighty contest for power and wealth for the few, and a (hopefully) ceaseless entertainment for the rest of us.

I can't think of a worse place to put a sentiment like that than this thread. Tone... deaf...
 
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UKMikey

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If cops keep showing up like burglars, one of these days a homeowner is going to end up shooting one of them. I hate to think what'll happen to him then.
 
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Warning: Profanity (remarks made by the subject of an arrest at the time of arrest documented by bodycam) appears uncensored in the article linked to below. The article is presented in full here, sans any internal or external links, such as to the aforementioned bodycam footage, and is subject to the site's profanity filter.

Despite the article being presented in full, consider giving Reason your click. Subject to your tolerance of coarse language, of course.

Former Florida Sheriff's Deputy Found Guilty of Planting Drugs on Motorists


A former North Florida sheriff's deputy was convicted Tuesday of planting drugs on innocent motorists.

Following a week-long trial that included testimony from a dozen people who said they were framed, a jury found former Jackson County Sheriff's Deputy Zachary Wester guilty of 19 of 67 criminal charges, including racketeering, false imprisonment, fabricating evidence, official misconduct, and drug possession.

The Tallahassee Democrat first reported in September 2018 that local prosecutors were dropping dozens of cases involving Wester after body cam footage appeared to show him planting a small baggie of meth in a woman's car during a traffic stop. The Democrat later published accounts by several other people who claimed they were framed by Wester during traffic stops.

In January 2019, Reason obtained body camera footage of one of the dropped cases through a public records request. The video showed Wester appearing to find a small baggie with traces of white powder in it in the center console of Florida resident Steve Vann's car during a April 17, 2018, traffic stop.

"There ain't no way, man," a distraught Vann says in the video. "Oh my God, you gotta be ****ing kidding me."

Wester tested the contents of the baggie using a Nark II field test, which is supposed to turn blue for a presumptive positive result for methamphetamines and MDMA. The solution instead turned burgundy, indicating a negative result.

Nevertheless, Wester told a visibly distraught Vann that the test had come back presumptively positive for methamphetamines and placed him under arrest. Vann was subsequently charged with possession of methamphetamines and paraphernalia, but state prosecutors later dropped those charges as part of a review of more than 250 cases that Wester was involved with.

In July 2019, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement arrested Wester. In a 30-page affidavit, the FDLE alleged Wester kept unmarked bags of marijuana, methamphetamines, and drug paraphernalia in the trunk of his patrol car, manipulated his body cam footage, planted drugs in people's cars, and falsified arrest reports to railroad innocent people under the color of law.

His victims, many of whom had prior records or were working to stay sober, had their lives upended. One man lost custody of his daughter.

All 12 of Wester's alleged victims testified at the trial, including Vann.

Vann testified that Wester originally said he pulled him over because his license plates came back with no insurance, but after Vann showed him proof of current insurance, Wester changed his story to say Vann had drifted over the double-yellow line.

Vann had gotten out of jail three weeks earlier, and he knew the routine. "Here we go again," he thought when Wester then said he smelled the odor of burnt marijuana in Vann's car.

"I knew my truck was clean," Vann testified. "I knew it was."

According to testimony in the trial, a forensics lab later tested the contents of the baggie Wester allegedly found in Vann's car, and it came back positive for methamphetamines.

Wester denied planting any of the drugs, claimed his body camera simply malfunctioned, and testified that the drugs found in the trunk of his squad car were discovered in a public restroom the day he was suspended, before he had a chance to properly inventory them.

The jury didn't buy it. Wester was convicted of charges related to three of the 12 traffic stops, including Vann's.

Eleven of those motorists have also filed civil lawsuits against Wester and the Jackson County Sheriff's Office.

Wester's defense attorney told the Tallahassee Democrat that he will appeal, specifically regarding Wester's racketeering conviction, the most serious offense he was found guilty of.

Before joining the Jackson County Sheriff's Office, Wester was fired from his previous job at the Liberty County Sheriff's Office for inappropriate relations with women, the Democrat reported.

The prosecutor who first flagged some of Wester's suspicious cases later quit the state attorney's office and filed a whistleblower retaliation complaint against her former employer, saying she was "ostracized and ignored" after bringing Wester's misconduct to light.

In body camera footage played throughout the trial, Wester appeared upbeat, even jovial, as he went about his business.

During one of his traffic stops, he told one of his victims, "You've got to be careful who you let in your vehicle."
 
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He should serve all the years of all the lives he has ruined.
That's...a punishment.

:lol:

I'm interested to see how sentencing pans out. I don't know that I want it to be that stern, or even how stern I actually do want it to be, but I certainly hope he doesn't get a figurative (or literal, for that matter) slap on the wrist.

This surely demonstrates that accountability is necessary (and hopefully that it's possible), as these are egregious rights violations by an individual expected to act to protect rights, even if they didn't result in loss of life.

Maybe this also demonstrates the need for drug decriminalization, bare minimum of marijuana, which Wester is alleged to have had in his possession for planting in vehicles he stopped and which is limited to medical use with appropriate permissions in Florida.

I'm also concerned about the whistleblower retaliation complaint and what it means if that turns out to be substantive.
 

UKMikey

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Florida, man...

I don't understand how the racketeering charge comes into it. Was Wester somehow profiting off of the wrongful arrests?
 
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Florida, man...

I don't understand how the racketeering charge comes into it. Was Wester somehow profiting off of the wrongful arrests?
I was curious about that myself, and I haven't been able to find details during an admittedly shallow dive.

One possibility I've considered is tge the potential for career advancement by way of a narco gig that may be more likely to open the door to detective than patrol.
 
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UKMikey

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I was curious about that myself, and I haven't been able to find details during an admittedly shallow dive.

One possibility I've considered is tge potential for career advancement by way of a narco gig that may be more likely to open the door to detective than patrol.
If so then that sounds kinda tenuous. Perhaps it's no wonder his legal team are trying to get that one thrown.
 

DK

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So, when's he running as a Qlan qandidate?
 

Scaff

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Update on the BLM protests report.

Approximately 94% of all pro-BLM demonstrations have been peaceful, with 6% involving reports of violence, clashes with police, vandalism, looting, or other destructive activity.
• In the remaining 6%, it is not clear who instigated the violent or destructive activity. While some cases of violence or looting have been provoked by demonstrators, other events have escalated as a result of aggressive government action, intervention from right-wing groups or individual assailants, and car-ramming attacks.
• In contrast, demonstrations involving right-wing militias or militant social movements have turned violent or destructive over twice as often, or nearly 14% of the time.

https://acleddata.com/acleddatanew/...A-Year-of-Racial-Justice-Protests_May2021.pdf

Odd then that sections of the media wanted the public perception to be rather different.
 
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Update on the BLM protests report.

Approximately 94% of all pro-BLM demonstrations have been peaceful, with 6% involving reports of violence, clashes with police, vandalism, looting, or other destructive activity.
• In the remaining 6%, it is not clear who instigated the violent or destructive activity. While some cases of violence or looting have been provoked by demonstrators, other events have escalated as a result of aggressive government action, intervention from right-wing groups or individual assailants, and car-ramming attacks.
• In contrast, demonstrations involving right-wing militias or militant social movements have turned violent or destructive over twice as often, or nearly 14% of the time.

https://acleddata.com/acleddatanew/...A-Year-of-Racial-Justice-Protests_May2021.pdf

Odd then that sections of the media wanted the public perception to be rather different.
Maybe these people see Acledatta differently.
https://www.researchgate.net/public...f_UCDP_GED_and_ACLED_conflict_events_datasets
 
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In contrast, demonstrations involving right-wing militias or militant social movements have turned violent or destructive over twice as often, or nearly 14% of the time.
Law and order.

Of course, one of those demonstrations involving right-wing militias or militant social movements that turned violent resulted in the displacement of members of the United States Senate amd House of Representatives, and the postponement of constitutionally mandated federal election procedure. Property damage included feces being smeared in the Nation's Capitol.

...



Nicole Harper, pregnant with her daughter, was driving her SUV home on a Arkansas freeway in July 2020 when Arkansas State trooper Rodney Dunn decided to stop her for allegedly driving 84 in a 70 mph zone. He turned on his lights in an attempt to make her pull over.

Following what she understood to be standard safe procedure in this situation, Harper moved into the right lane, slowed down, turned on her hazards to indicate to the officer that she understood what was going on, and was seeking a safe shoulder or exit to pull over.

No sane person could have imagined, given Harper's behavior, that she was involved in any active attempt to escape the raw justice of a speeding ticket. Fewer than two or three minutes had passed since the cop first turned on his lights.

Corporal Dunn was having none of that. Using an insanely dangerous strategy that police in Arkansas are using more and more—144 times last year, double the number of times the year before—he slammed into her SUV causing her to hit the concrete median, flipping her SUV. The practice, called the "precision immobilization technique" (PIT), killed at least three people in 2020.

That stops a speeder! It also runs a real risk of killing a speeder. In a perfect world, the technique is supposed to just send the vehicle spinning out and thus stop the chase.

Post-assault dialog, as reported by local NBC station KARK:

"Why didn't you stop?" Dunn questioned.

"Because I didn't feel it was safe," Harper said. Dunn responded, "well this is where you ended up."

Harper went on to say, "I thought it would be safe to wait until the exit." Dunn said, "no ma'am, you pull over when law enforcement stops you."…

Dunn can be heard saying, "no we don't anticipate vehicles rolling over nor do we want that to happen." He went on to say, "all you had to do was slow down and stop."

Harper responded, "I did slow down, I turned on my hazards, I thought I was doing the right thing."
She was very literally doing the textbook right thing, according to Arkansas driver's license test guides.

Harper is now, understandably, suing Dunn, his supervisor Sgt. Alan Johnson, and Arkansas State Police Director Col. Bill Bryant, claiming Dunn's potentially murderous maneuver was an excessive and negligent use of force given the circumstances. A wider shoulder and an exit were less than a mile away when Dunn attacked her.

The suit, as KARK reports, asserts that "Arkansas State Police 'failed to train' Dunn on 'proper and safe PIT maneuver technique,' failed to 'investigate allegations of excessive force,' and 'failed to discipline officers for violations of policy related to excessive force.'"

A statement from Arkansas State Police Director Col. Bill Bryant provided to local press merely repeated a bunch of nonsense not relevant to this situation about "fleeing drivers pull[ing] away at a high rate of speed, wildly driving, dangerously passing other vehicles, showing no regard for the safety of other motorists, creating an imminent threat to the public," and how "all incumbent troopers receive recurring annual training in emergency vehicle operations which includes PIT instruction," and that most times an Arkansas trooper wants someone to pull over, they don't resort to slamming into the vehicle at high speed.

A separate report from KARK detailed a November 2019 PIT stop in which a suspect who had his high beams on inappropriately and did not stop fast enough for the officer but rather drove away at very high speeds was slammed into, sending the car into a tree and killing 22-year-old Brian Brooks.

As KARK reported:

The risk and liability around the PIT maneuver prompted several law enforcement agencies to put strict limits on the move or ban it outright. In North Carolina, a fatal PIT involving Highway Patrol prompted the department to cap speeds at 55 mph, unless the fleeing driver has committed a violent crime or there are other circumstances that warrant the use of deadly force. PIT maneuvers are used by state police in several states including Texas, Georgia, and Oklahoma.
A comment from a state Senator given to KARK alas shows a common politician attitude toward second-guessing police actions, no matter how reckless, dangerous, or absurd: "'End of the day when somebody is fleeing I will never question the method police officer uses to stop them,' said Sen. Bart Hester (R-Cave Springs). 'I don't care if it's 60 miles an hour, I don't care if its 100 miles an hour, I want them stopped as soon as possible.'"

Hopefully, this lawsuit will find the judicial system approaching the matter with less thoughtless obeisance to reckless police decisions.
 

GranTurNismo

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“Well, look where you ended up” says everything about the officer’s demeanor. He didn’t feel his safety was threatened by the vehicle not immediately pulling over. He, like far too many other cops, is a power-trippy guy who couldn’t wait for an opportunity to employ a PIT-maneuver on someone because I’m sure he thought it looked like the coolest thing ever in videos.

And something tells me that the cop did not expect the “suspect” to be a middle-aged white woman who was able to keep her composure. In his mind, the “erratic driver” was probably the racist Black stereotype, especially considering that this took place in a state with one of the highest percentage of Black individuals in the US. And that would be, a large Black man with a bag of drugs and a loaded firearm in plain view, who would try to resist arrest from the moment the cop even got out of the car, and never had any intentions to pull over whatsoever.
 
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Scaff

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You do realise that....

A. Doesn't automatically discredit the information supplied (for that you would need actual data and evidence) and your source clearly says that. Hell, ACLED is open about the challenges of gathering this type of data itself (as all research of this nature should be).

https://acleddata.com/2015/06/09/conflict-data-collection-practices-acled-versus-others/

They have also been totally open and transparent about the methodology they use, even down to regional differences in how it is obtained (which will become relevant in a minute).

https://acleddata.com/acleddatanew/...020/10/ACLED_USA-Methodology_v4-April2021.pdf
https://acleddata.com/acleddatanew/...ds/2021/02/ACLED_US-Coverage-FAQs_Mar2021.pdf

As we as detailing its overall methodology.

https://acleddata.com/resources/methodology/#1603123549763-25e30632-a747

I trust that your source in the other thread, FEE, provide equally open and transparent details of how it gathers its information and carries out it's analysis of it? I can wait for you to dig them out.

B. It's a decade old, so not exactly an up to data critique, given that it doesn't match ACLED's current methodologies!

C. And most damningly, not even relevant, as it limits it's research scope to civil wars, which is mentioned in the abstract and covered in detail in the full text of that paper. Which, hilariously is now the second time in two days a conservative member of GTP has tried a 'gotcha' on me without bothering to read the full text of a paper/speech they have cited and it's turned out to not support the claim they made. If your going to try and cite a paper, at least read the damn thing first, don't just skim an abstract and assume (inaccurately) from it!

https://www.ecbproject.org/system/f...3-f_CoCo__Eck__final_.111204.release_vers.pdf

If that's your best try, then it's a swing and a very big miss.
 
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:lol:

March 2012.

Hey, at least it's more recent than the June 2011 clip of a stupid politician concerned Guam might capsize presented as a whatabout to Louie Gohmert wanting to move the Moon. I call that progress.
 

Scaff

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:lol:

March 2012.

Hey, at least it's more recent than the June 2011 clip of a stupid politician concerned Guam might capsize presented as a whatabout to Louie Gohmert wanting to move the Moon. I call that progress.
And about Civil Wars of which the US unsurprisingly isn't one covered.

I wish people bothered to read the papers they cite, but it's unfortunately rare that they actually do.
 

TenEightyOne

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On the same day that I saw this on Reddit there was some discussion about the methods of other police forces around the world including Britain. A general hallmark for 'failing to stop' was a calm, measured radio narrative with group decision-making assisting the pursuit and apprehension. Or just the general handling of the situation.

Every country has bad cops and that's a discussion for another thread and day... but the USA does seem to generate a particularly conspicuous number of bad police drivers with a county-level (?) system that puts some really over-excitable asshats in charge of weapons, vehicles and instant jerstiss.

Is that just Internet Bias or is that a feeling that other people have too?