Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Behind Baltimore

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  • BenWilson,

    Considering that the spinal damage is Gray's only injury I find it extremely hard to believe it was not caused during the arrest. If he had been thrown around in the van, there would have been some bruising. The lack of such bruising is suspiciously like the spinal injuries that happen when dangerous wrestling moves are done on people, or foolish physical manipulation by therapists. In no wrestling art are you allowed to bend your opponent's spine backwards the way the police seemed to be doing to him in some of the videos, holding his legs in the air with his body prone and his arms incapacitated, putting all of his body weight onto his neck. That's an incredibly dangerous maneuver.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Russell Brown,

    The film touches on it, but the New Yorker's staggering 2013 story is the go-to.

    That was a hard read - excruciating in fact. And I'm not a victim of the injustice .. it just boggles the mind to think how many of these victims still remain patriotic to 'the American dream'.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    officers receive performance

    One of the strongest arguments against running public services as businesses, particularly services that have specific social aims that have nothing to do with money.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody,

    Just received this in my FB feed re-posted by my sister-in-law back home;

    https://www.facebook.com/ThePoliticalInsider/photos/a.498948690140557.1073741825.112723252096438/875835885785167/?type=1&theatre

    I get this sort of stuff in my feed regularly given I've got lots of family there. I say nothing - as the brainwashing is just too complete.

    How long before the US becomes a failed state, I wonder;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Failed_state

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Matthew Goody,

    Key stats about Freddie Gray’s Baltimore neighbourhood:

    52% unemployment ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to James W,

    What an enlightning handling of the interview for this guy with Wolf Blitzer.

    As referenced by Stuff.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Howard Edwards,

    every district or city has its own police force, i.e. there is no US Police Force (other than the FBI of course)

    There are city/metropolitan police departments in the major cities, separate sherrif's departments in smaller towns, which are separate to but interact with the state police departments outside the town/city limits, plus a plethora of Federal agencies often referred to colloquially as the 'alphabet soup', or 'alphabet boys' - FBI, ICE, DEA, ATF are the main ones, but there's a bunch of smaller less well-known ones, too, such as the treasury dept (which I understand is formally part of the secret service, which itself is separate to the CIA). Plus a lot of states have their own in-state Bureaus of Investigation or other semi-separate organisations

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Rowe, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    How long before the US becomes a failed state, I wonder;

    We are certainly seeing it unravel before our eyes. With the militarisation of the Police it is essentially at war with its citizens.

    And journalists... https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=138&v=DVcoeI2YiF0

    Some eloquent pushback to Geraldo from Fox News

    Finally Jon Stewart's take

    NZ • Since Apr 2015 • 27 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Rich Lock,

    such as the treasury dept (which I understand is formally part of the secret service,

    Actually, the Secret Service is formally part of the Treasury. Was first formed to deal with counterfeiters and is still the lead agency on that and wire fraud. Protecting the President is a side job (I don't think presidents trust the CIA or FBI)

    http://www.secretservice.gov/history.shtml

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • Mike O'Connell,

    Having been offline a couple of days, there's much to digest here. In watching the trailer for The House I Live In, the sound bite comment that struck me was that the war on drugs is like 'the Holocaust in slow motion'.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 379 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Rowe, in reply to Mike O'Connell,

    the war on drugs is like 'the Holocaust in slow motion'.

    It is quite clearly a Holocaust in slow motion - and some believe, and give evidence of, a deliberate policy of introducing drugs into poor communities to both profit the CIA and destabilise those communities. Of course with private prisons you need "customers" so what better pathway than the "war on drugs (war on the poor)".

    Here is Mike Ruppert whistleblowing the CIA on this - he worked on it for much of his life and it is well worth looking into further.

    NZ • Since Apr 2015 • 27 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Steve Rowe,

    Attachment

    a deliberate policy of introducing drugs into poor communities to both profit the CIA and destabilise those communities

    It worked quite well for the British using opium to destabilise China...
    see:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_opium_in_China

    The Great Game never went away...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7892 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Rowe, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Absolutely, the State is complicit in the destruction of African American poor urban communities. Then you get Fox News going into Baltimore and saying "oh look they are looting Liquor stores! They have no interest in protest they are just thugs!". It's like someone beating and abusing a dog and then blaming it when it viciously attacks someone. It is grotesque.

    NZ • Since Apr 2015 • 27 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to nzlemming,

    The Secret Service has been taken over by Homeland Security. It was founded in 1865 primarily to deal with the then endemic counterfeiting of currency and didn't take on presidential protection until 1902.

    The FBI (1908/1935) and CIA(1947) came later.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    The Great Game never went away…

    They didn't even revise the rules.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    The Secret Service has been taken over by Homeland Security. It was founded in 1865 primarily to deal with the then endemic counterfeiting of currency and didn’t take on presidential protection until 1902.

    Good point. I forgot about that.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    One of the criticisms of US police is many of the smaller police forces only require 12 weeks training (less for part timers), with the maximum anywhere being 20 weeks. I am surprised at how little training our police receive – NZ police officers only get 19 weeks training and have to pass various tests. Apparently police in Nordic countries like Sweden attend much longer training programs, and are also expected to have a tertiary qualification of some kind.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2213 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    I don't know enough to really understand how much training is the right amount, but is 'number of weeks' necessarily a great metric for comparing and measuring?

    Looking at the recruitment site for the NZ Police, it seems to be 18 weeks at Police College but they also seem to make a big deal about needing a certain amount of competency assessment and distance learning to even reach the candidate pool for being there, then Police College training is followed by more assessments and qualifications during the first 2 years of work.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I think it's more about attitude than spending weeks at college?

    It varies also what newly qualified cops are expected to do. I think UK police aren't allowed to drive a police car straight away, and they certainly aren't taught firearms unless they join a special unit (with aptitude tests).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Felix_felix, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    Yes but not only that: the police in the US are not operating in the same frame as those in NZ. The split between US and UK happened before the good Sir Robert Peel developed his principles for an ethical police force. While what we've got is not anywhere near perfect, we've policing by consent; while it's not too far a stretch to say that the US has a gendarmerie.

    Welly • Since Nov 2012 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    playing at cops and robbers…

    One of the criticisms of US police is many of the smaller police forces only require 12 weeks training (less for part timers)

    Part timers like the rich play-policeman who ‘accidentally’ used his gun instead of his taser, killing a man the other week – he was there because he donated lots of money/gear to the police and they made him an honorary deputy or somesuch – that’s pretty messed up…

    On Thursday, in response to calls from politicians and civil-liberties campaigners for an independent investigation, a spokesman for Tulsa County sheriff’s office said it would conduct an internal review of its reserve deputy programme.
    On NBC on Friday, Bates, who has donated money and equipment to the Tulsa sheriff’s department, disputed a report by Tulsa World that supervisors at the sheriff’s office were told to forge his training records.
    “That is unbelievably unfair,” he said. “I have donated equipment as I saw fit, when the need happened to arise to allow the task force and other areas of the sheriff’s office to better do their jobs on the streets of Tulsa.”
    He said he had completed the required training and added: “That is absolutely the truth. I have it in writing.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/apr/17/tulsa-oklahoma-police-shooting-robert-bates-eric-harris-apology

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7892 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Steve Rowe,

    It is quite clearly a Holocaust in slow motion – and some believe, and give evidence of, a deliberate policy of introducing drugs into poor communities to both profit the CIA and destabilise those communities. Of course with private prisons you need “customers” so what better pathway than the “war on drugs (war on the poor)”.

    It sounds like a classic case of war profiteering and the Shock Doctrine. Both are basically direct descendants of the Broken Window Fallacy.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5420 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Savidge,

    David Simon (The Wire) shares his thoughts on it all here.

    Somewhere near Wellington… • Since Nov 2006 • 324 posts Report Reply

  • Graham Dunster,

    I find it fascinating that the Australian handwringing over the recent executions of two of its citizens in Indonesia doesn't seem to allow them to also address the failed war on drugs. I would have thought that it would be impossible to separate these things.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2009 • 184 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Rowe,

    I like Max Keiser's take on economic issues - I have never seen him get as angry as this as he talks about Baltimore. "Lynching by proxy".

    NZ • Since Apr 2015 • 27 posts Report Reply

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