ALL LIVES MATTER

A man raises his arms at a rally during the National Action Network National March Against Police Violence in Washington December 13, 2014. Thousands of demonstrators gathered in Washington on Saturday for a march to protest the killings of unarmed black men by law enforcement officers and to urge Congress to do more to protect African-Americans from unjustified police violence. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS CRIME LAW CIVIL UNREST) - RTR4HWG2

Harris County Texas Sheriif Ron Hickman is not quite sure why suspect Shannon J. Miles allegedly shot and killed his deputy, Darren Goiforth, last week. Police investigating the homicide have not been able to identify a motive but Hickman has a theory and it involves Black Live Matter.

“I think that’s something that we have to keep an eye on,” he commented. “The general climate of that kind of rhetoric can be influential on people to do things like this. We’re still searching to find out if that’s actually a motive.”

Then he took more direct aim.

“We’ve heard black lives matter, all lives matter,” Hickman said. “Well, cops’ lives matter, too. So how about we drop the qualifier and just say lives matter?”

Fox News than took this rhethoric and ran with it. Hasselbeck from ‘Fox & Friends’ asked conservative writer Kevin Jackson why the Black Lives Matter movement hasn’t been classified as a “hate group”, and an onscreen banner the network ran labeled ‘Black Lives Matter’ a “Murder Movement.” Bill O’Reilly later piled on

This past Wednesday, Hickman appeared on Fox News and said he isn’t quite sure if Black Lives Matter is to blame, but he still has his hunch. “You can’t help but wonder if there are people who are susceptible to the message that someone should lash out and make targets of police officers,” he said. “You can’t help but wonder.”

Wondering is fine, but directly accusing Black Lives Matter of promoting violence against police without any evidence is stereotyping at its finest. A black man allegedly killed a police officer, and now all black people involved in the movement are being indicted for the crime.

Black Lives Matter is an easy target because of its high-profile media presence and its ability to galvanize. Miles is held up as a representative of a group, rather than viewed as an individual — which frequently happens when it comes to race, for better or for worse. As Shaun King wrote for The Daily Kos “Just because this man who killed Officer Goforth was black, doesn’t make him a part of this movement any more than being white qualifies you as a member of the Ku Klux Klan.”

The argument that the Black Lives Matter movement is driving individuals to kill cops is specious, and if someone brings it up, here are five things you can tell them.

  1. Nobody doubts that being a cop can be hard and dangerous. But statistics show this is not any more true today than it was last year or the year before that.

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Police officers in Ferguson monitoring protests one year after 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot and killed by officer Darren Wilson.

And if statistics are any indicator, being a police officer may actually be less dangerous in 2015 than it was in 2014. According to numbers from Officer Down Memorial Page, an independent nonprofit that tracks cop killings, 24 officers were shot and killed in the line of duty so far this year, but 29 were killed during the same time period in 2014.

And while those 24 deaths are obviously tragic, 2015 has actually seen fewer year-to-date shooting deaths of police officers than nearly every other year in the past two decades. The lone exception was 2013, when the FBI says killings of police overall hit a 50-year low.

And to those who say the race of the officer matters in these targeted killings, half of the police shot and killed this year were black.

The Counted: number of people killed by police this in June alone this year reached 500 which will keep the US on track for the civilian death toll to reach over 1,000 by the end of the year.

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Resentment toward police officers who abuse their authority existed before Black Lives Matter.

Anyone who points to the “rhetoric” of Black Lives Matter as a root cause of violence doesn’t know anything about black history. In 1988, N.W.A released “Fuck tha Police” to protest police violence and racial profiling of the black community. The song, like hip-hop in general, and now Black Lives Matter, has often been blamed for the resentment black folks feel toward law enforcement. But this aggressive criticism of police, like the concerns voiced by Black Lives Matter, is a response to mistreatment at the hands of police officers. And it’s that mistreatment, not “rhetoric,” that continues to fuel this resentment.

Back in 2012, a CNN commentator by the name of LZ Granderson summed up why he and many black folks distrusted about law enforcement:

“when you’ve been pulled over for no good reason as many times as I have; when you’ve been in handcuffs for no good reason as many times as I have; when you run out to buy some allergy medication and upon returning home, find yourself surrounded by four squad cars with flashing lights and all you can think about is how not to get shot, you learn not to trust cops”.

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And to anyone who says Martin Luther King Jr. was more thoughtful with his rhetoric, remember that he was also blamed for inciting violence against the police. Simply put, when a movement is countering the dominant narrative with truth — and particularly, unapologetic truth — that movement is blamed for inciting violence. It’s a tired, old argument.

  1. The idea that Black Lives Matter and the idea that the lives of cops (or anyone else) matter are not mutually exclusive.

When people say “Black lives matter,” it is because this nation has made it clear that it often doesn’t agree. The phrase “black lives matter” does not — and has never meant — that the lives of police officers, or anyone else, don’t matter. As Janell Ross pointed out in The Washington Post.

To Hickman and more than a few law enforcement union leaders and public spokesmen around the country, it seems that in a world in which Black Lives Matter, police lives accordingly do not. That sounds a lot like saying that effective policing and law enforcement where officers feel and remain safe cannot happen unless those same public officials are free to do their work without regard for the civil rights and liberties of people of color in the communities they police.

A cop getting murdered is awful. Their lives do matter. But to place blame on the Black Lives Matter movement and claim it promotes the idea that only black lives have meaning is false, divisive and especially misguided. The movement’s premise is that all lives are important, but every life isn’t treated as such.

  1. The Black Lives Matter movement doesn’t promote violence against police officers or anyone else.

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No one who claims to speak for the Black Lives Matter movement has promoted violence as a means to achieve an end. The message the movement spreads has nothing to do with inflicting violence or pain against police officers — or anyone else, for that matter. It is simply a call to end the police brutality and misconduct that disproportionately take a toll on black bodies.

It’s entirely possible to simultaneously want to reduce police shootings and want to keep police officers safe. In this regards, the goals are mutually beneficial. Black Lives Matter activists have proposed at least 10 policies that aim to hold law enforcement accountable without putting them in harm’s way, ranging from ending aggressive low-level policing and instituting better police training to limiting standards for use of force and equipping cops with body cameras.

Furthermore, if Black Lives Matter is a movement committed to enacting reform through systemic change to policing priorities and tactics, how, exactly, would killing a cop help them in that goal?

That’s not to say that people haven’t said inappropriate things at protests against police violence, but the actions of a few, again, do not represent the majority. The fact that critics of Black Lives Matter seize upon one impolitic act while ignoring the rest of the movement’s message, again, speaks to a broader disconnect in this debate.

  1. Cop killers face the full punishment of the law, and everyone thinks that’s how it should be.

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CREDIT: Jewel Samad. Officers carry the casket of Wenjian Liu, a NYPD officer killed along with his partner, Rafael Ramos, in December 2014.

When a civilian kills a cop, justice is swift. Lamont Price, Christopher Monfort and Myles Webster, who all killed cops, were punished to the full extent of the law. Cops, on the other hand, are less likely to be convicted for killing a civilian.

Even over the past year, the cops who killed 18 year-old Michael Brown, 19-year-old Tony Robinson, 22-year-old Rekia Boyd and 43-year-old Eric Garner faced no legal repercussions for their actions. And despite the controversy, many people both in and out of law enforcement saw no problem with those decisions.

There’s a glaring double standard here. Police officers are heavily protected by the legal system: they are authorized to use force in ways civilians are not; their excessive force cases are often investigated by members of their own department; and most people are reluctant to second-guess an officer’s decision to use force — even in courtroom settings.

Granted, at least 41 cops have been indicted on murder or manslaughter charges this year for killing civilians in the line of duty. But a 2015 Washington Post analysis found that of the thousands of fatal shootings by police since 2005, only 54 officers have been charged. Far fewer were actually convicted.

Police-militarization

The problem as I see it, is that people have stopped listening to one another a long time ago. There is simply no communication. No leadership. Our streets has become a war zone where hundreds of unchecked fanatical law enforcement officers are out of main street USA not following protocol and carrying out street justice against the very citizens it is sworn to protect and serve. Some as we see every single day are acting as judge and executioner.

We see this is in the military. In most every career but mostly in high risk careers. People develop phobias, psychosis, fears, insecurities and react. Some are racists, troubled, plagued by alcoholism, drugs, relationships that due affect their work in a variety of means. Some have PTSD, anger management, anxiety issues that go unchecked. A great deal of the simply bomb waiting to explode.  An IED lying dormant for the time your ignorance rolls over it. The questions is, who developed that IED?

When a police officer gets killed, entire departments empties out to seek out the killer and will stop at nothing and use whatever faculties and force to get the job done. What happens when an innocent black or white child gets killed non-related to law enforcement?

Everyone needs to take a hard cold look in the mirror. There are a great deal of amazing law enforcement officers out there but we need more out of them. We need them to take a stand against the officers the make this country the most corrupt. To stop turning the blind eye. To being turning in the ‘bad cop’.  To remove these vigilante officers off our streets. To earn the respect and integrity behind the shield they wear.  In turn, we will all hopefully unite and become color blind. Restore to order and regain our constitutional freedoms and rights.

brian-moore-funeral

Here are police officers in dress blue giving their respects to a fallen officer. On patrol for a better part of a century, officer’s uniforms varied but were merely non-threatening but commanding button-down grey/blue/black shirts, neckties, slacks, black shoes, navy jackets and peaked hats. In colder months, a leather jacket was worn. This photo along with  the policeman’s oath represented integrity, honor  and pledge to serve his fellow man with “favor, skill, knowledge and no malice or ill-will”.

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This photo is something you would find in Kabul, Afghanistan or Mosul but this is police response teams on the Main Street USA.  Why is our police waging war against the very citizens it swore to protect? Do the police consider it’s citizens Terrorists?

ALLLIVESMATTER rich or poor. We the law and the citizens for whom they serve need to respect and honor one another. It is a two-way street. Not one of each other is better than the other. If someone breaks the law, the law-breaker regardless of stature needs to be held accountable for his/her actions. In fact, if a crime is committed by an officer of the law, they should be held to stricter standards like all leaders in our communities and in our administrations.  We need to restore order, eliminate chaos, and focus on our true enemies here and abroad.

Mutual respect is the foundation for honesty, trust and meaningful communication. Right now, we need mutual respect for a new mindset and transition for re-establishing a proper regard for the dignity of the officer and all citizens. In order for relationships to remain healthy, both the public and public servants must be equally respected, appreciated but neither should expect to receive or expect any praise for doing what it is his or her job to do. The truth is that anytime anyone shares their hand or heart, they should be valued and appreciated for it. It is defined as a proper regard for the dignity of another. Policing and the public is a conveyance of a relationship like a marriage that contains value. We as Americans have that capacity to care and love. It is inherent. We have seen that in each other in 9/11 when we become one.

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Mutual respect is intentional. Based upon traditional values and acts of appreciation.  Modern men and women have been programmed in part to dislike each other. We are living in an uncivilized world perpetrated by terrorism. We are also living in a corrupt world led by corrupt leadership and blinded by misconceptions, broken policies and agendas.

We need to re-structure our government. Establish new protocols and psychological assessments and review boards before placing those in powerful positions as part of stringent background checks and training. These must be integral for a new set and dimension of strategies and standards of training. We need to re-build our nation from within before we break down the chains of terrorism abroad. If we want our citizens to be accountable for their actions, we have to insist that our police and everyone involved in the legal process be accountable equally. ALLLIVESMATTER – EQUALLY.

Credits; AP

Police Accountability & Professionalism

No one should be mistreated or abused, falsely accused or be a victim of police brutality. It should not matter how poor you are or what color you are or what group or “gang” you are in or whether you were born in the U.S. or whether you are an immigrant – all should be treated with respect, all should be treated fairly, and all should be afforded equal protection of the law. Nothing less is acceptable.

No city or community can be truly great unless it upholds these basic principles. It is recognized that any police department or any organization will commit errors and make mistakes. But police departments in particular should have a sound system of public oversight so that mistakes and errors are quickly corrected.

Unfortunately, in this nation today especially in urban areas, our police force has never been afforded a truly workable civilian oversight process. Consequently, over the years, Police Department across the board developed and sustained a well-entrenched culture of corruption and double standards. By culture of corruption and double standards, I do not mean simply one or two corrupt people. Rather, what has emerged is a deeply entrenched way of life and systematic abuse of officers of the law against its very own citizens it sworn to “serve and protect”. It also manifests to the integrity of the officers who follow the code and respect for the color of the law.

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There exists a system of corruption and double standards within our law enforcement communities. This has been reflected on a daily occurrence by thousands of officers across the nation as an acceptable for of behavior and condoned by superiors.

These superiors and council members appear to be unfit for duty due to their extent of the culture of corruption and double standards. They neither want to be accountable nor responsible for their actions of the actions of others.

Police Departments and certain officers sworn to uphold has been instrumental in maintaining social order, just as any law enforcement agency across this great nation. However, historically there is evidence to a lack of fairness, and double standards relating to enforcement or non-enforcement actions. The contrasts of police action, between the affluent and the poor, the White and the minority, the passive and the vocal, are astounding and well documented.

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The victims of these double standards and lack of professionalism are usually the poor, disenfranchised, minority persons, or anyone who seeks to question the actions of the police. Those that merely question police actions are targeted most often when no crime has been committed.

We need professionalism, accountability and oversight to regain trust. If a crime is committed by an officer of the law, they must be indicted, prosecuted and sentenced to the statutes imposed by law like any other citizen. They do not rise above the law. This change will not come from city administrators, but must come from the citizens.

Many of our leaders must become compliant to the political wheel or the problem will continue to worsen. Administrators use intimidation, retaliation and altered investigations against those citizens who speak out. These tactics can only be successful if the citizenry tolerate and condone such. Only a mass movement, an organized public push, will be strong enough to change the stubborn culture of corruption and double standards.

The Militarization of U.S. Police Departments  

Do you remember the ‘Posse Comitatus Act’ in 1878. “The purpose of the act… (was) to limit the powers of the Federal government in using its military personnel to enforce the state laws“

The Posse Comitatus Act is a United States federal law enacted by Rutherford B Hayes in which the purpose of the act is to limit the powers of the federal government is using its military personnel to enforce state laws. They set as a priority legislation to prohibit any future President or Congress from directing, by military order or federal legislation, the imposition of federal troops in any U.S. state.

Since the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, therefore, the U.S. government has been constrained overall in the use of military force domestically in any of the U.S. states.

This constraint, though, has never been the case in U.S. international policies and, therefore, the U.S. has engaged in militarizing the domestic arenas of other countries that fall under U.S. areas of interest (such as the Philippines, South American countries, the Middle East, etc.).

Low-Intensity Conflict (LIC) is a “Policing/Militarization of the U.S. Empire”

What is “Low-Intensity Conflict”? There are seemingly many definitions of the term. Regarding the impact of the U.S., however, I refer to it as “low-intensity” only for the U.S. military. In other words, the U.S. military does not get its hands dirty nor is it violently impacted but instead trains others for this insidious work. This is in contrast to those who are the recipients of it.

“Low Intensity Conflict” is simultaneously “high intensity” for those outside the U.S. who are victims of these U.S. international LIC policies. These victims are often under intimidating surveillance, sometimes suffer or are killed by summary execution, torture, displacement etc. by military or police in their own country who are trained philosophically and militarily by the U.S. In other words, it is a method employed to “police/militarize” the U.S. political and economic interests. This could also be referred to as war capitalism.

When militarizing the domestic arena of its areas of influence in the world, it pays no attention to its own domestic laws that do not easily allow for this militarization in its own domestic sphere.

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So instead of the United States military goes into about 70 countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Columbia, Argentina, etc. to train troops from these countries which is to serve the interests of the United States and the friendly elite of these countries. Again, it is a “policing” or “militarization” of countries in what the United States considers its empire of interests. The reality is, these countries are not friendly nor allies of the U.S. Once trained and given military grade weapons, they are later used against our own troops.

As with the international structural adjustment policies that are now being implemented in the United States, as mentioned above, I have always assumed that the U.S. would also want to implement the LIC (Low Intensity Conflict) strategies or increased domestic militarization in the U.S. as well. The Posse-Comitatus Act has invariably prevented this from happening to any significant degree. One way around this, as in by not being able to send in the federal troops to cities and states, is to militarize the local police forces and this is happening to a significant degree in the United States.

As the ACLU has reported:

All across the country, heavily armed SWAT teams are raiding people’s homes in the middle of the night, often just to search for drugs. It should enrage us that people have needlessly died during these raids, that pets have been shot, and that homes have been ravaged.

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Our neighborhoods are not warzones, and police officers should not be treating us like wartime enemies. Any yet, every year, billions of dollars’ worth of military equipment flows from the federal government to state and local police departments. Departments use these wartime weapons in everyday policing, especially to fight the wasteful and failed drug war, which has unfairly targeted people of color.

As our new report makes clear, it’s time for American police to remember that they are supposed to protect and serve our communities, not wage war on the people who live in them.

cop-soldiersThe “war on terror” has come home–and it’s wreaking havoc on innocent American lives. The culprit is the militarization of the police….

A recent New York Times article by Matt Apuzzo reported that in the Obama era, “police departments have received tens of thousands of machine guns; nearly 200,000 ammunition magazines; thousands of pieces of camouflage and night-vision equipment; and hundreds of silencers, armored cars and aircraft.”  The result is that police agencies around the nation possess military-grade equipment, turning officers who are supposed to fight crime and protect communities into what look like invading forces from an army. And military-style police raids have increased in recent years, with one count putting the number at 80,000 such raids last year.

According to Alex Kane’s “11 shocking facts about the militarization of the U.S. police” are:

  1. It harms, and sometimes kills, innocent people.
  2. Children are impacted.
  3. The use of SWAT teams is unnecessary.
  4. The “war on terror” is fueling militarization.
  5. It’s a boom to contractor profits.
  6. Border militarization and police militarization go hand in hand.
  7. Police are cracking down on dissent.
  8. Asset forfeitures are funding police militarization.
  9. Dubious informants are used for raids.
  10. There’s been little debate and oversight.
  11. Communities of color bear the brunt.

There is a rampant and systematic abuses by police to beat and kill innocent unarmed American citizens. Police officers excessive use of force is observed on a daily basis in the United States in direct view of the public.These are barbaric and savage crimes. It is also corruption by the very judicial system that is also established to protect us by failing to prosecute these officers for obvious crimes.

This is collusion in that it promotes dishonesty and fraud, which, in turn,undermines the integrity of the entire judicial system.We know that law enforcement and prosecutors are married at the hip. Therefore when law enforcement commit the assaults and murder are generally never charged. In turn, from their respective departments suspended from duty nor disposed from duty. Most of their actions are legitimized by their departments and swept under the carpet of the code of silence.

Some of these abuses and murder of citizens are carried out when the oppressed is in custody and restrained with handcuffs. There is anywhere from 4-16 officers on hand to control one individual who is at times begging for their lives. Some never get the chance as they are killed within a minute.

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There should be no escalation of lethal force with anyone that is not carrying any weapon and can be controlled with ANY non-lethal weapon.  If not, the police academy do not have proper standards and training. The golden rule is to use one more ounce of force that is used against you. If you cannot accomplish this and control any given situation, you should not be an officer of the law that is sworn “to protect and serve”. The problem initiates with the foundation of training. However, any citizen that endeavors to become an officer of the law needs to have rigorous psychological assessments before moving ahead with training and re-evaluated on a steady basis.

Scott Bernstein  – International Tactical Law Enforcement & Military Trainer. ‘Global Security International|Bounty Hunter Training Academy’

SHOOTINGS IN AMERICA – CARNAGE

Mass Shootings in America and Innocent Lives Lost. Why are they on the rise? With Newtown behind us, and others just tailing that horrific event, we know have in this past week, 12 navy yard workers killed and eight others injured. Right after that in Chicago, home of Barry aka Barack Obama, 3 were killed and 23 wounded 3 days ago followed d up 2 other shootings leaving 4 dead and others wounded including children . Chicago police were pleased to announce that their homicide rate was down 21% form 389 dead last year to only 305 this year so far. Well, I guess that is something to be proud of. That is just over 1 dead per day.

With the ever tightening of gun regulations and the shredding on the 2nd amendment, prolonged waiting times, detailed background checks, what is being missed and violated? Do criminal offenders wait around for the aforementioned and even fill out a basic application? The ones who went on rampages have not.

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Some say that if putting guns in civilians hands to deter violence is that civilian shooters are less likely to hit their targets than police in these circumstances.” A chaotic scene in August at the Empire State Building put this starkly into perspective when New York City police officers trained in counter-terrorism confronted a gunman and wounded nine innocent bystanders in the process. I know for a fact, that the best trained marksman in the world are not law enforcement but professional civilians. In a certain sense the law was on their side: nearly 80 percent of the killers in our investigation obtained their weapons legally. Some will argue that there is no evidence indicating that arming Americans further will help prevent mass shootings or reduce the carnage in this country but without allowing the use of arms and protecting our 2nd amendment rights, are we just lying down and waiting to be slaughtered?

 

Are you letting the government decide your fate or take away your god given right of your choice to live or to die? Your right to defend yourself, your property or more importantly your family. There is a set of classification; a mass murderer is someone who kills four or more people in a single incident, usually in one location. (As opposed to spree or serial killers, who strike multiple times.) You can exclude cases involving armed robberies or gang violence; which drop the number of fatalities by just one, or including those motives, would add many, many more cases. While access to weapons is a crucial consideration for stemming the violence, stricter gun laws are no silver bullet.

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To me, the key factor is mental illness. A major New York Times investigation in 2000 examined 100 shooting rampages and found that at least half of the killers showed signs of serious mental health problems. Data reveals that the majority of mass shootings are murder-suicides: about half of shooters kill themselves. Others may have committed “suicide by cop”— in which what I found seven died in police shootouts. Mental illness among the killers is no surprise, ranging from paranoid schizophrenia to suicidal depression. But while some states have improved their sharing of mental health records with federal authorities, millions of records reportedly are still missing from the FBI’s database for criminal background checks. If the government really wants to curb gun violence in this country, they first need a strong wake-up call and understand that mass shootings need to be scrutinized as a public health emergency so that policy makers can better focus on controlling the epidemic of violence. It would be no different than if there were an outbreak of Ebola virus. As I always have stated. Guns do not kill people, people kill people and they are generally not of sound mind.

“Memories are hard to forget. Caring for someone is hard to regret. Losing someone is hard to accept but even with all the hurt I’ve felt letting go and moving on is the most painful yet.”