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#41

Post by xianjiro »

OldAle1 wrote: June 15th, 2020, 12:34 pm Yep, drinking myself to death still seems like a better option than most others out there.
Not sure if Elizabeth Shue is available :o ;) :P :( It's much less fun without a sexy enabler
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#42

Post by xianjiro »

blocho wrote: June 15th, 2020, 5:52 pm I'm going to stop going to protests, and I'm going to try to limit my news consumption for a bit (though the second part will be difficult). There's just so much ugliness, and I'm not able to handle it emotionally. Choosing to withdraw like that, of course, is a retreat. Every movement for social change would fail if people went away when things got ugly. But it's what I need right now.
This is a fairly worthwhile survival strategy. I've mentioned elsewhere that there was a period in 00s where I didn't look at any news for a couple years. In some ways, life was better though I was surprised later to find some big things I didn't even know happened.

But nowadays, I limit myself to headlines and reading text: after seeing the WTC collapse umpteen hundred times, I decided video wasn't a good thing. Okay, watch this or that video one time if one needs to see whatever happened or if one is in doubt and wants more of a first-hand experience, but if one is watching broadcast news, one must have seen the Floyd video way more times than anyone should by now. (I've also disabled autoplay and immediately close videos that spawn on news sites.) Broadcast news, especially when they are chasing "breaking news", is just so repetitive. I remember after the Great Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami, they played the same video of industrial plant fires (very close to where I lived in Japan) and of course those horrible videos of waves coming in and destroying entire communities. It was rather numbing. So I stay away from video pretty religiously now. Text is best.
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#44

Post by blocho »

I haven't succeeded at all in avoiding the news.

Here's an update on New York: https://gothamist.com/news/where-are-go ... ls-hearing

Testimony on NYPD brutality is ongoing for a few more hours: https://ag.ny.gov/livestream
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#45

Post by blocho »

OK, I've utterly failed at my resolution to stop going to protests and not follow the news.

But I just had to go to a protest today. It's Juneteenth, and New York was absolutely hopping. There must have been about 50 or 60 different events planned, so many that some protests ran into other protests and created serendipitous mergers. And I've learned that having a drum line makes any protest a thousand times better. I was also a little less vituperative toward the cops, though I still carried my "NYPD = Terrorists" sign.
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#47

Post by xianjiro »

The recent data has led epidemiologists to question whether large outdoor gatherings have served as the “superspreader” events they initially feared — and is providing them with further evidence that major coronavirus spreading events are occurring primarily at indoor facilities.
- source (link crossposted on Covid thread as well)
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#48

Post by blocho »

A video compilation of police brutality during the weeklong NYPD reign of terror in early June. This is what policing is like in New York City.

It's valuable to have all of these videos in one spot, but don't give the Times any credit for putting this together. It only took them six weeks.
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#49

Post by xianjiro »

What can I say? That's not going to be on my shortlist @blocho. I've seen all the police brutality videos I need to for one lifetime, but that's just me personally. Glad people are documenting it: documentation is a good thing.

BTW, there have been something like 45+ nights of protests in Portland - every night for seven weeks. For a while, the local paper would have a daily headline with the count, but I couldn't find it. Is this happening elsewhere?

Interestingly, the local current has changed and while I won't say Portland police are handing out refreshments and chatting up the protesters, the climate is definitely shifting towards deescalation, especially with purely peaceful #BLM marches and rallies. That said though there are still regular (nightly?) clashes with a smaller group (anarchists?) outside the "Justice Center" with occasional battles outside one precinct as well. But PPD is looking better now that Trump's goon squad has started going after people. Not sure how long before the focus of the anger shifts from PPD to them, but it's probably started and local politicos and some other leaders aren't pleased by the Federal "protection" (aka interference). Certainly more to come in this Summer of Discontent but who knows if it will continue once the weather turns cold and wet.
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#50

Post by blocho »

xianjiro wrote: July 15th, 2020, 7:03 pm BTW, there have been something like 45+ nights of protests in Portland - every night for seven weeks. For a while, the local paper would have a daily headline with the count, but I couldn't find it. Is this happening elsewhere?
Oh yeah. Forty-seven consecutive days of protest in NYC. It's dropped off a lot since the end of June, when our mayor and city council passed a budget that did almost nothing to rein in the police, but there are still protestors heading out there every day (my last protest was on July 4). In the past week, counter-protestors have emerged under the banner of Blue Lives Matter or "Back the Blue". This sort of backlash was inevitable, though the crowds are pretty small.

Last weekend, there was some violence and plenty of vituperation between these two groups at protests in South Brooklyn. Not surprisingly, the few people arrested were all people protesting the police. None of the pro-police demonstrators were arrested. And this morning, there was another encounter when 10-15 protestors tried to block the pro-police crowd from crossing a bridge. The police arrested them so the pro-police protest could cross.
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#51

Post by xianjiro »

It's probably 47 then in Portland as well and guess what, the 'reform' the city enacted was to pull cops out of schools, eliminate the gun violence (formerly gang enforcement) squad, and I think there was something else. All things activists, and now one city council member, have been asking for for years, but the overall 'hit' the budget was minimal - well less than 10% and I'm not exactly clear where that money is going. Supposedly they are going to be talking more about reform and there is some reason to believe that the collective bargaining agreement has something to do with it. Don't remember that detail, but I think both 'parties' agreed to an extension of the current contract to either the end of 20 or 21. But honestly, even with lefties and Dems running the city and state, I don't believe real, substantive change will happen this year. The legislature met and probably the biggest 'reform' they pulled out their special sessions was to make it illegal for police to use tear gas on a peaceful crowd. But still, we have to keep pressing for reform.
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#52

Post by blocho »

Yeah, reform in New York has been very minor. Here's what's happened so far:
- Repeal of a state law that shielded police disciplinary records (the most significant reform so far)
- Passage of a city law to make police chokeholds illegal, rather than just against official department policy
- Passage of a city law to bring more transparency and oversight to police use of surveillance technology
- Cancellation of the July 2020 class of recruits, which is projected to lead to a 2.5% reduction in the number of police officers

There's also been some other stuff that amounts to window dressing. Ostensible reforms that actually aren't.

Here are the two reforms I most want:
- Creation of an independent prosecutor to investigate and prosecute police brutality and corruption. Right now, there's very little accountability for police misconduct. The various District Attorney officers in each of the five borough can bring criminal cases against the police, but they almost never do so because have to cooperate with police every day, and they are scared of offending them. There is a Civilian Complaint Review Board, but its investigatory power is limited (it can't freely review body cam footage, for example) and it can only make recommendations for punishment, which the police commissioner can ignore. As an aside, activists spent 40 years struggling to create a CCRB, and in 1992 when they finally got it done, the police promptly rioted, led by a young fellow named Rudy Giuliani. Finally, the NYPD has its own internal discipline system, but it can only provide administrative punishments (loss of vacation days is the most common). An independent prosecutor is the only hope that justice can be done when police commit crimes.
- A law that requires police to buy their own malpractice insurance, much as doctors do. In 2018, the city government spent $230 million to settle lawsuits against the police. That money comes directly out of taxpayers' pockets. That $230 million figure was actually seen as a great accomplishment, because it was down from more than $300 million the year before. If police had to buy their own insurance to cover the costs of such lawsuits, and if that insurance got more expensive when they fuck up (as it does for doctors), that would both force the cops to pay for their own malfeasance and provide a strong disincentive to continue brutalizing people.

Ideally, I would also like to close the NYPD and replace it with an entirely new police organization. I think the institutional culture is so rotten that such a move is warranted, but the two reforms above are more important and more achievable.
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#53

Post by blocho »

xianjiro wrote: July 15th, 2020, 7:42 pm But honestly, even with lefties and Dems running the city and state, I don't believe real, substantive change will happen this year.
The sad truth is that most politicians are terrified of the police. The police in many cities operate with a mob attitude: "Nice city you have there. It would be a shame if something happened to it." Just in the past 10 years, the NYPD has engaged in two illegal work slowdowns in 2014 and 2019 and possibly a third one right now (the numbers aren't confirmed yet) because citizens and politicians had the temerity to suggest that they change. The message is consistent: If you criticize us or try to change how we work, we'll stop doing our job, and then you'll be sorry because crime will rise.

There are 51 seats on the New York City Council. The party breakdown is 47 Democratic, 3 Republican, 1 vacant. Some of those council members campaigned on promises to rein in the police (as our mayor did). But none of them actually will because they're scared of the police having a conniption. The police in New York are a rogue organization, but the mayor has the power to fire the leadership, and the city council has the power to pass laws and change their budget. The police suck, but the politicians are even worse.
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#54

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decided not to reply to your prior two posts a back after you made them - not because of what you said since I think we're of like minds on these issues - just was hoping others would add to the discussion

I've already alluded to and seen replies in another thread about people being snatched off the streets in downtown Portland by federal agents, often in camo, in unmarked vehicles. Seems while I was incommunicado today that story blew up internationally as well as an administration spokesman arriving in town to crow about it. Sorry, between the whole Desaparecidos nightmare and some leader's love of dictators, their power, and his continued use of similar rhetoric, my blood boils and curdles. I'm not saying we're there yet, but ... Far from helping - most of the local factions were getting into the same book if not anything like the same page - this will return the city to what the Bush administrations called "Little Beirut". I write about my anger. Politicians tweet and give interviews. Other people take to the streets ... Last summer will look like the summer of love compared to what comes next and I've little doubt it will come. Escalation begets escalation and all sorts of ground was paved by the War on Terrah.

This is a developing story.

Again. I could go on and on and on, but I'm not sure many people care what I have to say on the issue: it's being reported, pretty sure people can figure out what's going on for themselves, but I'll answer questions and probably spout off from time to time.

But back to local cops - Sandy police officer killed Tualatin man in mental crisis, shot colleague during attempted arrest, report says - if there's nothing worse than a cop killer, I have to wonder how this story gets spun by the law 'n' odor crowd.

points of reference: Tualatin is another suburb in my county west of Portland, Sandy's in Clackamas County to the south of Portland and by far the most conservative of the three, and Welches is up in the mountains east of Sandy and sit just below Timberline Lodge (Shining exteriors) - the three counties are bigger than Delaware and about twice the size of Rhode Island in terms of area

Police are not social workers or psychiatrists. I point to it as a current example of what I consider to be another policing-related crisis: I was told by a county deputy (during a ride along), that about 50% of calls they field now are mental health 'issues'. I know I don't need to say much more than that, but again, society needs to rethink how it deals with these problems and this clearly intersects with BLM. BTW, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_St ... f_Portland "U.S. v. City of Portland is notable because of its finding persons with mental illness are primary recipients of police use-of-force." Portland occupies 4.8% of the three counties' land area.

This story will die in the cross-fire thanks to Trump's goon squad.

I understand your anger on some level. I appreciate you trying not to be angry elsewhere in the forum. :hug:
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#56

Post by blocho »

xianjiro wrote: July 18th, 2020, 7:57 am if there's nothing worse than a cop killer, I have to wonder how this story gets spun by the law 'n' odor crowd.
NYPD killed two of its own in 2019. Both were "friendly" fire incidents while trying to apprehend someone else. In the second incident, a cop was fighting with a man on the street, and some other cops fire multiple shots, which hit and killed both people in the fight.

In the first incident, two cops entered a store that was being robbed by a man with a fake gun. While they were inside, some other cops outside the store shot up the store with 42 bullets. Both cops inside were hit, one of them dying.

Were any cops punished for killing their colleagues? Nope. Was anyone charged with a crime? Well, yes, actually. The man who robbed the store in the second incident has been charged with felony murder. So was his accomplice, who was serving as lookout and wasn't in the store during the shootout. Neither of them fired a shot, but because they were committing a crime during which some cops shot each other, they end up charged with murder.
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#57

Post by xianjiro »

not really sure what to say - seems pretty insane to me
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#58

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#59

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Part of me is surprised I'm not seeing more coverage of protests elsewhere. I feel like I'm in a bubble and protests are only happening in Portland though by searching I've found some articles - and of course blocho's mentioned - that it's going on elsewhere. I'm not just sure people are aware how widespread it is or isn't, especially if they aren't involved in something like BLM.

Anyway, here's a troubling story out of Salt Lake City where it appears splashing red paint or breaking windows during a protest carries a possible life sentence. I want to say "unfuckingbelievable", but then again, the law and odor crowd love their mandatory minimum sentences. And if anything says Criminal Justice Industrial Complex, it's got to be a mandatory life sentence for vandalism.

And they wonder what people are protesting about/against.

:facepalm:
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#60

Post by Minkin »

xianjiro wrote: July 18th, 2020, 7:57 am
Police are not social workers or psychiatrists. I point to it as a current example of what I consider to be another policing-related crisis: I was told by a county deputy (during a ride along), that about 50% of calls they field now are mental health 'issues'. I know I don't need to say much more than that, but again, society needs to rethink how it deals with these problems and this clearly intersects with BLM. BTW, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_St ... f_Portland "U.S. v. City of Portland is notable because of its finding persons with mental illness are primary recipients of police use-of-force."
This makes sense - as my mother threatened to call the cops on me recently, after she discovered I had made a suicide attempt (I'm fine, sorta, not really). I'm not sure what she thought the police would do, especially when the county has a mental health crisis team. Hell, I've even met with the crisis team twice before - and they were calm and did their best to ascertain my level of safety and my plan to stay safe moving forward + offered plenty of resources. There's no reason why the crisis team shouldn't be the primary respondents to any and all mental health interactions. If only the resources spent on the cops were allocated to these programs, there'd be a lot more beneficial progress. I can't imagine a worse person to respond to any mental health crisis than some scary authority figure with a gun.

The only thing I can imagine a cop doing is throwing me in the back of their wagon and dumping me at a hospital for them to figure out - and that's a best case scenario. Worst case would be they'd mistake my schizophrenic mutterings as a threat and pin me down or worse.
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#61

Post by xianjiro »

I'm sorry to hear you've had a rough time of it recently Minkin and do hope you keep to your safety plan. I think for a lot of people - who maybe don't pay attention or whatever - they just don't know that there are alternatives to calling 911. That's what we've been trained to do and that system seems to default to either fire/ambulance or police. There needs to be that third option "crisis management" and they need to be funded on the same level as the others.

The lack of funding creates a problem for even those who know and are willing to use the crisis intervention services where they exist. When I had to call them a number of years ago, I had to wait on hold for nearly an hour. If that's the usual case, I get why someone hangs up and calls 911. They've called because they are scared, don't know what to do, and need help ASAP. RoboCop isn't the answer! Even sending firefighters would be better than cops.

But how long has it taken for political leaders and bureaucrats to wake up to the need to reform policing and what are they doing? This shit seems obvious to me but our political system just drags and drags.

Please take care! We love you and enjoy your contributions. :hug: :hug: :hug:
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#62

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#63

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So, Portland protest streak stopped at 101 nights thanks to poor air quality (related to wildfires). Gosh, I hope that doesn't give any stormtroopers strange ideas.

But, now that the air as cleared up, protesters were back on Friday and Saturday nights and guess what... Wonder what the air quality rating is in a cloud of tear gas. :think: :unsure:

While I have virtually no sympathy for those throwing rocks, frozen bottles of liquid, or fireworks at anyone else, imagine getting gassed in your own home simply because people don't know how to behave on your street. It does strike me as a disproportionate response.
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#64

Post by maxwelldeux »

"Hey let's use this weapon of war that's never been tested on women to disperse crowds filled with men and women... and even affect people not protesting, but merely living their lives in their own homes."

https://www.opb.org/article/2020/07/29/ ... -portland/
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#65

Post by peeptoad »

maxwelldeux wrote: September 21st, 2020, 10:33 pm "Hey let's use this weapon of war that's never been tested on women to disperse crowds filled with men and women... and even affect people not protesting, but merely living their lives in their own homes."

https://www.opb.org/article/2020/07/29/ ... -portland/
...Not to mention the new unusual rituals that could potentially alter someone’s usual menstrual cycle: bedtimes pushed to the early morning, a diet of snacks and energy drinks...
Whoever wrote that piece must not have gone to college.
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#66

Post by maxwelldeux »

peeptoad wrote: September 22nd, 2020, 11:07 am
maxwelldeux wrote: September 21st, 2020, 10:33 pm "Hey let's use this weapon of war that's never been tested on women to disperse crowds filled with men and women... and even affect people not protesting, but merely living their lives in their own homes."

https://www.opb.org/article/2020/07/29/ ... -portland/
...Not to mention the new unusual rituals that could potentially alter someone’s usual menstrual cycle: bedtimes pushed to the early morning, a diet of snacks and energy drinks...
Whoever wrote that piece must not have gone to college.
Hehehe... well yeah. I couldn't find the Seattle Times link that covered the topic.
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#67

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https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/fo ... s-n1238036

So...just one of the three officers involved in Breonna Taylor's death is charged, but not for shooting and killing her, but for "wanton endangerment" due to the other stray shots he fired wildly that endangered neighboring apartments. Sadly not a surprising outcome...
I’m to remember every man I've seen fall into a plate of spaghetti???

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#68

Post by blocho »

GruesomeTwosome wrote: September 23rd, 2020, 6:22 pm Sadly not a surprising outcome...
Completely predictable.

This is going to sound weird coming from someone who hates the fucking cops in New York, but in the Taylor case, I think the blame is less with the cops involved than with the system. Taylor isn't nearly the first person to get killed because of a no-knock warrant gone wrong. It's happened dozens of times over the past 20 years. At some point, you realize that it's the system rather than the individuals involved. No-knock warrants need to end. The same goes with the war on drugs.

I know things have been different around the country, but I've been pleasantly surprised that NYPD didn't crack down on protests last night. That could change, of course, especially given that NYPD arrested 86 people last week for the crime of protesting, but so far so good. What I'm really worried about is the election. NYC seems like one of the likeliest places for things to get very violent in the election aftermath. I've advised friends and family to stock up on food ahead of time. And, of course, there's the possibility that the cops here could interfere with the election itself (same goes for cops around the country).
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#69

Post by PeacefulAnarchy »

Nah. No knock warrants are idiotic, but if you're going to allow them and if you're a cop executing one then it's your responsibility to know what can happen and that your job is to arrest, not murder. Yeah, the problem is the entire culture surrounding the authority of police, but the officers who do the job buy into that culture and should be held responsible for the abuses.

Just doing your job and following orders does not absolve you of responsibility for your actions.
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#70

Post by blocho »

I want to pass along this video about the most notorious incident during the NYPD riot in June. It's the best reporting I've yet seen about that awful week. Notably, none of New York's major media organizations has produced anything similar to it yet.



If you're interested, here's a little follow-up about our mayor's reaction.
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#71

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#72

Post by Pretentious Hipster »



Other posts here shows the video proof that it's a lie
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#73

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#74

Post by blocho »

Shit's getting real again in NYC. About 60 arrested last night at street protests. A few of them did illegal things. But the vast majority were arrested for walking in the street. That's been the go-to method of the cops for the past two months. They show up at a protest, announce that everyone has to move to the sidewalk. Then they wait around, and the moment someone steps from the sidewalk to the street, that person gets rushed, thrown to the ground, and arrested. Here's a video of an instant classic from September.

I forgot to mention this, but I actually got to talk directly to Police Commissioner Dermot Shea ( seen here publicizing evidence of his own criminality) a few weeks ago. The police held a series of these "Reform and Reinvention" meetings. They were bizarre. On one hand, they were a transparent attempt at turd-polishing and cynical PR. The cops would always begin with a string of lies, half-truths, and non-apologies:
- "Stop-and-frisk was a mistake" -- but no mention of how hard the cops fought against restrictions on stop-and-frisk, and certainly no apology for the enthusiasm with which they jacked up a generation of black New Yorkers.
- "The state wasn't letting us be transparent about internal discipline" -- but no mention that the anti-transparency laws were instituted at the behest of the police unions

What was surprising was that they actually let random citizens talk. The meeting was limited to only about 30 people, but anyone could zoom in, and I was allowed to speak through zoom. I was one of the first to talk, and I asked simply if the cops would stop breaking the law, specifically the law against illegal parking (broken by thousands of NYPD officers on daily basis), the law regarding masks (ditto), and the law against assault and false arrest. And I asked if the cops couldn't stop breaking the law, could they at least do their jobs and arrest those among them who did break the law.

No response. I didn't realize it, but that was actually the commissioner's MO. He answered the friendly questions. But he ignored the tough questions because it was a "listening session."

Anyway, I'm guessing things will continue as they are for awhile. The cops have gotten better at PR and a little better at justifying/limiting their brutality. Nothing's ever going to change.
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#75

Post by xianjiro »

blocho wrote: November 5th, 2020, 9:57 pm Nothing's ever going to change.
Hate to say it, but that's been my feeling all along.
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#76

Post by blocho »

xianjiro wrote: November 5th, 2020, 10:35 pm
blocho wrote: November 5th, 2020, 9:57 pm Nothing's ever going to change.
Hate to say it, but that's been my feeling all along.
Can you tell us a little bit about the mayoral election in Portland? I don't know anything about politics over there, but I was under the impression that the mayor was very unpopular. Was there no one running on a platform of reining in the cops?
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#77

Post by xianjiro »

blocho wrote: November 6th, 2020, 12:08 am
xianjiro wrote: November 5th, 2020, 10:35 pm
blocho wrote: November 5th, 2020, 9:57 pm Nothing's ever going to change.
Hate to say it, but that's been my feeling all along.
Can you tell us a little bit about the mayoral election in Portland? I don't know anything about politics over there, but I was under the impression that the mayor was very unpopular. Was there no one running on a platform of reining in the cops?
@Sebby might also have feedback, but the Portland city races are really confusing. I was told (note: didn't read) that about a week out Wheeler (incumbent) was polling 1:2 for his challenger and yet Wheeler still won the election handily. My take is, end of day, voters didn't want to risk the unknown of someone who's never held office. The challenger pledged to much more aggressive in police reform and promised to turn over control of the Bureau to Hardesty (who's been fighting this same damn fight for decades). This is something Hardesty has asked Wheeler to do repeatedly and Wheeler has refused. That should tell you volumes right there.

But that coupled with the stunning defeat of Hardesty's closest ideological ally, especially in terms of police reform, really reshapes the council in a way that leads me to low expectations that anything will change. The new guy coming in, while Black, is seen as very cozy with both business and police, but again, he's got no track record, so who knows what he'll actually do.

This is especially interesting given the overwhelming passage of Measure 26-217 "which will create the framework for the new, civilian-run police oversight board that would investigate all city officer misconduct complaints and impose discipline in cases where infractions were found" (source. But then again, we have to wait for a new contract for anything to actually change. Might be they are hoping this will all blow over before then - think the contract is up for negotiation next year or in 2022.

So what Wheeler and the new crop of commissioners decides to do is really a huge unknown. I would say Wheeler is trying to straddle the fence between a citizenry that supports the less radical concepts espoused by BLM etc, but also wants to keep the police happy. To call it incrementalism is probably an understatement. They rushed through the cuts they could over the summer. (Less than 10% of police budget.) He's tried to make policing of protests less caustic, but now the governor's stepped in with a unified command structure (including national guard) and they're able to operate however the hell they want. (I'm not really sure if they are constrained by judicial orders or not.)

Then I look at the big statement in Minneapolis and now we're looking at least a year or two delay before they can "eliminate" the current police structure and put something else in place - the police are written into the Minneapolis city charter, so that has to be amended by a public (not council) vote. I know the mayor of Seattle has tried to thwart the city council's effort to defund as well.

Sorry, feel like that was pretty scattershot, but don't hesitate with follow-up questions. Will try to get an answer. But agreed, we tend to have a pretty good sense of what's going on in our metro, but are pretty close to clueless about the other couple hundred large cities around the country.
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xianjiro
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#78

Post by xianjiro »

Here's an article published today: Portland City Council rejects proposal to cut $18 million more from police on 3-2 vote

Eudaly is the one who lost her reelection bid. So far $15M of a $241.5M budget has been successfully reallocated to something that doesn't involve guys with guns. Not much of a win, but something activists have advocated for for years.
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#79

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I have to confess here that I don't think budget cuts are a good goal for reining in the police. Obviously, I can't speak for the situation in Portland, so I wouldn't prescribe what the policy goals over there should be. But in New York, I think it's been a distraction. A lot of activists in NYC were calling for a $1 billion budget cut from the $6 billion NYPD budget (it's actually $10 billion once you factor in pension costs, but for some reason nobody counts this). Eventually, the city council passed a budget that they said cut one billion, but once some decent reporters (not the people at the NY Times) looked closely at the budget, most of those cuts were accounting tricks. The actual cut was $82 million, or 0.8% of the police budget.

Anyway, here's my point: Even if the budget was cut by one billion, that only returns the police budget back to what it was in 2014. The police weren't any less corrupt or brutal six years ago. Cutting the budget doesn't lead to accountability. It's a good idea to do now because the entire city is in a financial crunch, so I support the goal, but here's what I really want:
- Establish an independent prosecutor who works only on police criminality. The DAs in each borough will never prosecute the police for anything other than the most egregious crimes (like this charming cop).
- A legal mandate that police need to buy liability insurance that covers costs when the city gets sued because of their misconduct. As it is, NYC spends hundreds of millions each year to settle lawsuits against the police (it's going to be a lot higher this year because of all the brutality). If cops had to buy their own liability insurance, they would have a financial incentive not to brutalize people. Decent cops would have cheap policies, while the worst cops would have expensive policies. This system shifts the cost to the cops and gives them a reason not to be so shitty.
- Give the Citizen Complaint Review Board authority over internal NYPD discipline. Right now, the CCRB has the power to investigate complaints, but the cops routinely and illegally ignore their requests for information. And the CCRB can only make recommendations for discipline to the commissioner, who has the power to ignore them.

Anyway, I've rattled on long enough. Again, I'm not saying any of this would work for Portland. I just had to rant a bit.

Edit: And now I just realized that I made all these points in a post back in July. Clearly, I've been thinking about this too much for too long. Here's just one example of the problem: Francisco Garcia, an undercover cop, beat up a man for not wearing a mask back in May. He then beat up a bystander who asked Garcia to stop beating up the the original victim. All of this was caught on video. Last week, he resigned from the NYPD rather than face internal discipline. As a result, he gets to keep his pension. He has not been charged with any crime.
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#80

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And so it begins, even before it gets going:

Portland police union files grievance, challenging voter-approved measure to overhaul police oversight system

I'm with you on the independent prosecutor: I've thought we should have someone - or an office - that does nothing but police oversight for the state. The office needs to be very up-to-date on laws regulating law enforcement and state training/certification. Asking 'average citizens' to make these type of decisions in a grand jury is just punting the problem: it's no wonder that we end up with nothing happening like the Taylor GJ in KY. Of course you could have an extensive office just for the five boroughs, but it really needs to be looked at. Cops policing cops, while good in theory, doesn't seem to work that great either. And we see what discipline gets us.

But on the budget issue, this isn't just about cutting funding to the PD, it's about reallocating those funds away from simply locking people up for being mentally ill or addicted or homeless and putting it in programs that help people make changes. In the prior article, the key is funding for the Street Response. We did have a 'drunk tank' type operation called "Chiers" (surely someone thought that was cute though I forget what acronym actually stood for.) Anyway, they threw in the towel because they couldn't handle the folks with severely untreated mental illness who were self-medicating with street drugs and the city wouldn't fund them to revamp the program. But the Street Response is patterned on a highly successful program based in Eugene, Oregon called CAHOOTS that has been receiving tonnes of interest since BLM really took off this summer. How can we do anything else when funding the police is eating up a lion's share of the budget? Okay, I admit I don't know what percentage it is in Portland, but it's not an insignificant number anywhere in this country and you hit on an important issue, how much is it costing tax payers when things go wrong? How much is the tear gassing this summer going to cost, especially since it's effected law-abiding citizens doing nothing more than enjoying the free use of their owned/rented property and in no way participating in the violence or peaceful protests?

(And it appears protestors attacked the home tonight of one of the councilors who voted against the funding diversion today and I believe this is his first month in office.)

We see where we're at. I'm only surprised it took the better part of four years to get here. I knew this issue would hit during this administration and I also expected the "get tough" stance and posturing that really seems tone deaf to me, but then again, it can be hard for the middle class to understand the concept of systemic bias. It seems it takes a knee on the neck during a cultural vacuum to wake people up to what has been going on all around us, day after day, month after month, year after year. This isn't new: it's not like people just started complaining about the way police treat minorities in 2020.

So I get your frustration. It's okay to feel frustrated by societies inability and for many, unwillingness to deal with these issues. It is very much at the heart of the culture wars.
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