A study in why ‘Black Lives Matter’

goforthOn Friday a white Sheriff’s deputy named Darren Goforth was ambushed and murdered by a black suspect in Houston. We still know nothing about the killer’s motives, but spokesmen from the police and prosecutor’s office immediately leveraged the incident to criticize groups that have protested police violence.

Rhetoric emerging from right-wing disinformation networks has been far worse. The usual suspects at Breitbart, never troubled by an absence of facts to support their narrative, have been insisting for weeks that protestors clamoring for justice in the death of Sandra Bland are tied to mysterious black militant groups. Those groups, they claim, have been calling for violence against police. The baseless claim has been sitting there, waiting for some fragment of an incident to fuel a racist backlash. Now they have what they need.

It is clear now that regardless what we learn about the murder, Deputy Goforth’s terrible death will be used to push back against efforts to make justice available to everyone. That isn’t necessary. As this case plays out, it will also offer a living demonstration of what ‘Black Lives Matter’ protesters have been saying. Our justice system does not value all its citizens’ lives equally.

Nothing will restore what Deputy Goforth’s family and friends have lost. There is no justification or sense in his death. He risked his life to serve his community and a member of that community responded by murdering him. This incident is a horrifying outrage. The community must respond.

Those who suffer from Deputy Goforth’s death can expect one critical consolation that has eluded many black victims of police violence. They will have access to justice. There will be no riots in the streets over his death, no tense protests. There will be no need for the President to speak on the matter. Why? Because in the Goforth case, the system will do what it ought to do for everyone.

Prosecutors filed charges against Goforth’s alleged killer the day after his murder. On the day of the killing, every major law enforcement official in the area spoke out forcefully about the incident.

No one from the police union or the prosecutor’s office will smear Deputy Goforth or his family. No will one will claim that his parents should share responsibility for his death. His killer will not be defended or praised by public officials. Police officers will not be out on patrol wearing symbols of support for his killer. There will never be any reason to doubt whether public servants will exercise their rightful authority in seeking justice for Deputy Goforth’s murder.

Thanks to decades of forceful effort against massive, well-organized resistance, African-Americans and other minorities can now count on police and other public servants to administer justice equally most of the time. That’s progress, but that lingering gap leaves black Americans constantly on edge in their interactions with our justice system. ‘Black Lives Matter’ is an effort to make the rest of the country aware of the work that remains to be done.

Someday, when black lives really do matter equally to our justice system and to the general public, then that slogan will lose its relevance. Until then, saying that “all lives matter,” or “police lives matter” is an ugly, spiteful irony. Anyone who doubts that police lives matter need only read the paper. Anyone that believes “all lives matter” to our system is living in purposeful denial, standing in the way of justice.

“All lives matter” is meaningful as an aspiration. Stated as a claim about present conditions, it is a lie that carries dark political implications. Until we live in a country where the lives of Americans like Tamir Rice and John Crawford and Eric Garner actually matter as much to the justice system as the life of Darren Goforth, then “all lives matter” will continue to be a couched insult, an obstacle to our aspiration of ensuring justice for all.

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

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138 comments on “A study in why ‘Black Lives Matter’
  1. Michaela says:

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  2. […] the archives: As we mourn more senseless death, a reminder of why ‘Black Lives Matter’ even while we grieve lost […]

  3. sistrin says:

    As an addendum to this post:

    Kentucky Cop Killer Attended Michael Brown’s Funeral, Took Pictures Of Al Sharpton

    Missouri man who shot and killed a Kentucky state trooper during a traffic stop Sunday was an apparent Black Lives Matter sympathizer who protested in the days after the shooting death of Michael Brown last year and attended the 18-year-old’s funeral, social media posts show.

    Joseph Thomas Johnson-Shanks, 25, shot Kentucky State Police Trooper Joseph Cameron Ponder after a high-speed chase on Interstate 24 at around 10:30 p.m. local time Sunday.

    Johnson-Shanks fired into Ponder’s cruiser at the end of the 10-mile chase, striking and killing the rookie trooper.

    Source: http://dailycaller.com/2015/09/14/kentucky-cop-killer-attended-michael-browns-funeral-took-pictures-of-al-sharpton-photos/

    Photos in the article show Johnson-Shanks posed in the “hands up don’t shoot” posture, promoting a narrative which as stated prior has been proven completely false.

    Not that I think you will respond, Lifer, but I do wonder how this fits into your paradigm.

    • Sir Magpie De Crow says:

      Tell me sistrin, what is your expert and infallible opinion on this story…
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/kamilah-brock-nypd-bmw_55f2c9aae4b063ecbfa3e60d

      • Sir Magpie De Crow says:

        Here is another story sistrin that you might find interesting. I think this story (and its most recent developments) best exemplifies the truth that many seemingly straight forward things in life are often more complicated than anyone can imagine. I wonder what do you call a manhunt for a killer… when there may have never been a murder?

        http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/09/15/authorities-investigating-possibility-suicide-in-shooting-death-ill-police/

      • sistrin says:

        Your response is a simple attempt at deflection, but since you asked so nicely.

        The story told by Kamilah Brock is a bit difficult to believe, that the NYPD carted her off to a mental hospital ultimately just because she was black. It reeks of “hands up don’t shoot.” Regardless, her case will be resolved in court via the very justice system the OP claims doesn’t work for black people.

        However there is the clear difference between the two incidents cited and you can’t get around it.

        Kamilah Brock, regardless of what percentage of her story proves to be either true or completely fabricated, will be compensated by the City of New York and go on to live her life as a rapper at some level of peace and happiness.

        Kentucky State Police Trooper Joseph Cameron Ponder is and will remain dead, killed by a guy who was at some level motivated by rhetoric of BLM and the false narrative still being foisted our of Ferguson. Ponder’s family will continue to face their grief and sorrow until the end of their days. Cops everywhere will continue to have to look over their shoulders, even while performing a mundane task such as pumping gas.

        And members of BLM will continue to chant such helpful messages as “pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon” in their quest for equality. But I know, we are not supposed to question any of that.

      • karl victor says:

        ok, a black man gets shot by the police everyday and has been getting shot everyday for the last century. Have you visited the museum of lynching at the MLK Center in Atlanta ? You cannot provide a parallel, a equation or any other, “feels like”, sounds like”, just like” or “resembles”. that remotely comes close to the factual history of the legal slaughter of black men in America. Crime ? Suck all the adult wage paying jobs out of the white community and watch how fast the crime rates will explode. GEEZ

      • goplifer says:

        ***and go on to live her life as a rapper at some level of peace and happiness. ***

        You’re an asshole.

      • sistrin says:

        Quote:

        “ok, a black man gets shot by the police everyday and has been getting shot everyday for the last century.”

        I understand the genesis for this comment, but it is hyperbole. Black men are not being shot by police every day. In addition lynchings have never been legal in the United States.

        “You cannot provide a parallel…”

        This is true, you are absolutely correct. The legacy of black history in America from pre-revolution to the civil rights era is one unique to African-Americans. It is unfortunate but true it would take cases such as the 1906 murder of Ed Johnson to begin to address that injustice. I have not nor would I ever attempt to deny the horrific nature of the treatment many African-Americans were forced to endure during various times in our history. What I have and will continue to address is current instances in which lies are used in order to advance a political agenda.

      • Hyperbole??

        The Guardian has been trying to track “civilians shot by police in the USA”,
        They are finding over 1000/year

        So “a black man gets shot by the police everyday and has been getting shot everyday for the last century.”

        Could well be a massive UNDERSTATEMENT

      • karl victor says:

        The Guardian is a British newspaper how about the FBI crime data base?

      • duncancairncross says:

        Great question
        The answer is that there is no such thing as the “FBI crime data base”
        What there is is an old outdated database that about 20% of police forces sometimes send some information to

        Most other countries do have national crime databases – but the USA is “exceptional” again

      • sistrin says:

        Quote: “You’re an asshole.”

        I read five different news accounts on the Kamilah Brock story. All of them made a point to highlight that aspect of her life. Why does including that description make me anything?

      • sistrin says:

        Quote: “The Guardian has been trying to track “civilians shot by police in the USA”,
        They are finding over 1000/year.”

        And this is called moving the goalpost. Civilians shot by police is not the same criteria as black men shot by police.

        However to address your numbers. According to a few sources, including both NBC and FOX News, the FBI does not collect or maintain national statistics. However I did find this. From “Arrest-Related Deaths – Program Assessment – Technical Report,” as prepared by Banks, Couzens, Blanton, and Cribb, published in March of 2015, the numbers for law enforcement “homicides” for calendar years 2003 through 2009 and including 2011 are listed as follows:

        White, non Hispanic: 2,352

        Black, non Hispanic: 1,683

        Hispanic, any race: 982

        Source: http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/ardpatr.pdf

        For whites this works out to an average of 336 per calendar year reported. For blacks it works out to an average of 244 per calendar year reported.

        Of course other sites such as “Killed By Police” dot net report higher numbers, to include the “1,000 killings annually” figure.

      • Sir Magpie De Crow says:

        Heck. Here is another story that I feel relates to the subject at hand. I might as well pile it on…

        http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/bal-no-accountability-for-takedown-of-james-blake-20150916-story.html

      • 1mime says:

        All this in a country that doesn’t admit to any racism or any bad police.

      • Sir Magpie De Crow says:

        What the heck, here is another one! A story that is burning up on social media. Apparently being young, thin and dark with glasses (and a big brain) can be a dangerous combination in Texas. Lord help you if you have an affinity for time pieces!

        But don’t talk about it to Bobby Jindal, he has his own opinion on racial/ethnic bias in this country… it doesn’t really exist.

        “We don’t discriminate against anybody based on the color of their skin or their creed,”

        To which Dylann Roof (from his jail cell in Nevada) replied, “Let me tell you something about the Negro…”

        http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/gop-primaries/253953-jindal-uses-question-on-suspended-muslim-teen-to-discuss-kim

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/09/17/why-some-muslims-dont-want-ahmed-mohameds-blackness-to-be-ignored/

    • karl victor says:

      Why would he have to ?

      • duncancairncross says:

        Hi Sistrin
        Hyperbole – ?
        When the low ball figure is 244/year! – OK that is not 1/day just 2/3 per day

        And that is the “low ball” figure !
        The high end figure is double that

        So if we take something midway between them as the “most likely” figure we get more than 1 per day

        It’s not hyperbole – it’s simply accurate reporting

      • sistrin says:

        You are still moving the goalpost. The number cited reflect all civilians for the years reported, not just blacks.

      • karl victor says:

        I don’t want to throw a wrench in your thought stream but I actually have real issues with innocent white guys getting shot also.

      • duncancairncross says:

        Hi Sistrim

        “You are still moving the goalpost. The number cited reflect all civilians for the years reported, not just blacks”

        You need to read your own post!
        The numbers you quoted were
        “For whites this works out to an average of 336 per calendar year reported. For blacks it works out to an average of 244 per calendar year reported.”

        244/year works out as 2/3 per day –

  4. 1mime says:

    One year later, an update on what’s happening in Ferguson, Missouri. For those who believe that justice is the same for all people, or that Black people bring all of their problems on themselves, this riposte will affirm your belief in the system. Government CAN do good things about bad things and make a difference.

    We have moved on to other posts, but this one seemed worthy of intruding on your Labor Day.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/07/opinion/reforms-follow-protests-in-ferguson.html?&moduleDetail=section-news-5&action=click&contentCollection=Opinion&region=Footer&module=MoreInSection&version=WhatsNext&contentID=WhatsNext&pgtype=article

    • TheMeansAreTheEnd says:

      Great! Though my impression is that the people who created and carried out the old system in Ferguson didn’t have a change of heart. These changes appear to have been imposed from outside or carried out by newcomers who were appointed to deal with the mess.

      This doesn’t detract from the message that government CAN do good things and make a difference. My point is rather that we-the-people need to demand that government act. Specifically, these changes would not have occurred without the protests.

      • 1mime says:

        Agree. We all know that Ferguston is not an anomaly. The changes “imposed” through the Justice Department’s investigation and actions, offer a template that can restore Black trust in the system and right a lot of wrongs….which. do. not. fix. themselves. It shouldn’t take a death nor require the intervention of the U.S. Justice Department to fix situations like this. If Michael Brown’s death served no other purpose, it has shined a light on how bigoted and cruel people can be. Can you imagine how many years of suffering and abuse the Black people of Ferguson endured? It’s so easy to ignore injustices like this and we should not forget.

    • sistrin says:

      “We have moved on to other posts…”

      Translation: I can’t refute any of your points so I am just going to declare victory and run away.

      The article you linked does nothing to support your point of a racist white America. From the article, quote:

      “Previously, Ferguson’s director of revenues would suspend a driver’s license for a missed court appearance or the failure to pay a fine. ”

      This is standard practice in practically every city and town in America, and is a policy which is not focused solely at African-Americans. Fail to make a court appearance and the law will respond. Fail to pay a traffic fine and the law will respond. The consequences of failing to address traffic violations apply to everyone, and the only disparity of justice is typically measured not by skin color but by how good a lawyer one can afford. Of course in liberal la la land, this is proof positive of inherent white racism.

      In addition, according to the United States Census Bureau the population of Ferguson is 67.4 percent black, a fact which supports the logical following that a higher percentage of black residents would routinely come into contact with the police and/or be the targets of traffic law enforcement.

      The problem of cops being “revenue agents” is not one even remotely limited to St. Louis County, Mo. Many municipalities, for example Virginia Beach, Norfolk, or Hampton Roads, Virginia, assign officers daily to nothing but traffic enforcement. Their jobs are to create revenue for the city, county and state. Run afoul of the court system and the penalties add up quickly, regardless of what color you are. They just want the money. I agree that is a problem, but it isn’t one limited to African-Americans nor is it a racially motivated problem. It is a government greed problem.

      On another note, given what I perceive to be a penchant on your part to see racism everywhere, I wonder what you would make of this:

      “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” Really Did Happen – Just Not in Ferguson”

      “Police in Philadelphia made a heart-breaking discovery when they found the body of a 51-year-old father and business owner. James Stuhlman was out for an evening walk with his terrier dog, when he came across three black teens who were “bored” from playing basketball.

      As he walked down the street, Stuhlman, who owned a local landscaping company, saw the three teens approach him. The teens grabbed and robbed him, and shot him once in the leg. They could have just taken his money and ran at that point. But they didn’t.

      From the New York Daily News:

      “At one point, he did plead for his life,’ said Captain James Clark at a news conference. He said, ‘Please don’t shoot me, please don’t shoot me,’ and they still shot him one more time.”

      Source: http://conservativenewsroom.com/news/hands-up-dont-shoot-did-happen-but-not-in-ferguson/

      • 1mime says:

        And, why would you by any stretch think that I would find the actions by the 3 Black youths who attacked Mr. Stuhlman anything but horrible? Or any unprovoked attacked by anyone on a defenseless individual? The problems in Ferguson have been amply documented. The comment about moving on to other posts was in respect to Lifer and his blog. I broke the thread of the blog with the Ferguson article because I felt (and still feel) that those who comment here would be interested in the update on Ferguson. It was OT (off topic). Nope, Sistrin, not going there. Believe what you will.

    • Sir Magpie De Crow says:

      Finally! (A somewhat) encouraging story that might signify that the people at the center of the debate of police misconduct (and racial bias) are starting to get the message that the status quo cannot continue indefinitely. Its depressing that you have police leaders/and their supporters in this country that are mentally little better than the police in Mississippi who conspired to have civil rights workers buried in a dam, but I still see potential for change. More people need to get the freaking memo… This story will probably have greater national coverage in the coming weeks.

      http://www.cnn.com/2015/09/08/us/oregon-clatskanie-police-chief-racism-allegations/

      http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/09/09/us-usa-police-oregon-idUSKCN0R92H720150909

      http://www.interaksyon.com/article/117319/us-cop-gets-death-threats-for-denouncing-racist-chief

      • 1mime says:

        For every person who comes forward with legal complaints of racism by a public official, imagine how many are actually occurring but not being challenged? I was struck by a couple of things: (1) the racist police chief resigned with public accommodation and a bonus!!; and, (2) the death threats received by Officer Stone (and actions against his family).

        “Officer Alex Stone, of the small city of Clatskanie, in the western state of Oregon, told AFP that he has received death threats from the local community and been racially abused since he and a fellow officer filed a complaint earlier this summer.

        ‘Just yesterday one of the local business owners said he wanted to take me into the woods and shoot me in the head. Another said he wanted to string me up by a noose,” said the 36-year-old officer. “People are emailing me saying they hope I get shot in the head.

        My wife got run off the road twice … and my three children are scared,” he added. “I feel like people are telling me to leave.'”

  5. sistrin says:

    I realize you are not used to be challenged on the points you make, but given you attempt to pass yourself off as a Republican someone has to. Reading your post was reminiscent of listening to Al Sharpton, and like him you shoot yourself in the foot early and then often.

    Quote:

    “We still know nothing about the killer’s motives, but spokesmen from the police and prosecutor’s office immediately leveraged the incident to criticize groups that have protested police violence.”

    At this point there are only two types of people who as yet can’t fathom or refuse to acknowledge the motive of the shooter, idiots and partisan hacks. The same is true of the shooter in Virginia. Goforth was selected as the target because he was a cop. Given this particular shooter the only question is whether he was chosen because he was a white cop. This constant refrain from the leftist talking heads wringing their hands and proclaiming they can’t find a motive is disingenuous at best if not borderline moronic.

    Quote:

    “Those who suffer from Deputy Goforth’s death can expect one critical consolation that has eluded many black victims of police violence. They will have access to justice.”

    This is promoting the same narrative which, directly or indirectly, led to the death of Officer Goforth. It is the narrative which insist the entire Criminal Justice System has been intentionally constructed to unfairly punish black offenders. It is rubbish. What is true is the American left is zealous in its efforts to excuse and defend black offenders as victims as opposed to perpetrators, and always blames the system whenever a ruling is reached which does not fit their narrative. The Central Park Jogger case is a prime example, as is the case of convicted cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal. Jamal was sentenced to death in 1995 but of course is still alive and well and hailed by the left as a wrongly imprisoned journalist. This notion that black offenders are railroaded through the system by white racist at all levels is ludicrous, and can only be supported by lies such as “hands up, don’t shoot.” I could flood this page with examples.

    The above notion can also be supported by crap such as this. Quote:

    “No one from the police union or the prosecutor’s office will smear Deputy Goforth or his family.”

    Why should they? This is such an incredibly lame attempt to justify the destruction engaged in by the Ferguson protesters in general and Michael Brown’s father in particular. Recall that Brown’s father jumped up on a car and started repeatedly screaming “Burn this expletive deleted down!” I looked for video of Goforth’s father doing the same, but guess what Lifer fans, I didn’t find any. Do you really believe American blacks have no choice but to burn down their towns, destroy private property, and commit acts of violence on others as the only means to get justice?

    But the nonsense continues, quote:

    “His killer will not be defended or praised by public officials.”

    Michael Brown was killed by a police officer who was in fear of his life and acting to protect that life. Goforth was executed by a black guy intentionally looking to target a cop. The difference is profound, but doesn’t end there. Immediately following the death of Brown the liberal media fabricated a story that Brown was shot by a racist white cop who got up that morning and decided to go kill himself a black guy. That narrative has been proven again and again to be a lie, but it is still promoted to this day. However the truth is the only guy who got up and decided to go kill someone based solely on how he looked was the shooter of Officer Goforth. Go ahead, try and deny that.

    Goforth’s killer is worthy of no defense or praise for his actions, and the only possible justification you could have for implying such is another backhanded attempt to promote the discredited notion Officer Darren Wilson, and every other white cop in the news, acted on racism as opposed to self preservation. In addition how much sympathy is BLM worthy of when members of that group roast a pig decorated with Police paraphernalia and Darren Wilson’s name written on the side?

    I could go on, but the central point has been made. If members of the American left want to call a cop killer a “wrongfully imprisoned journalist” or disingenuously wail about their inability to identify an obvious motive in the killing of Officer Goforth that is a reflection of the warped sensibilities of the American left, not the Criminal Justice system. In addition you should change the name of your blog to “liberal mole,” as you routinely spout ideals which have as much in common with Republican or Conservative values as those expressed by the likes of Al Franken or Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

    News flash, Lifer. The GOP won’t become more viable by transforming into the Democrat party.

    • 1mime says:

      The Republican Party won’t be helped by people who deny reality, regardless of political affiliation. No one here defended the killer of Deputy Goforth. No one. It was cold-blooded murder by a man who is mentally ill. But, when white people are killed by Black people, at least they are far more assured of receiving prompt justice. Black people, rarely. Lifer is dead to rights in this assessment, whether one wants to believe it or not.

      It didn’t take me long to figure out that I could learn a lot from this blog. It’s not always good news for my positions, either. Being as objective as I can, the Republican Party needs to make a lot of changes or it will cease to exist. I believe in a viable two-party system, but I also believe in rational politics. Although the party as it is functioning may serve your ideology quite well, it is not a good long-term survival plan for the GOP, and that is Lifer’s purpose in his posts.

      I haven’t noticed your participation with comments until this one so assume you’ve been following in the shadows and this is not a one-off. If you have and you still believe Lifer is abusing the Republican brand, may I suggest that you are part of the problem, not the solution that he is working so hard to achieve in behalf of the very party you both support.

      • sistrin says:

        This isn’t the first time I have posted here, although my post are infrequent. I responded when Lifer championed Abortion Barbie and on the issue of Obamacare. Regardless, quote:

        “when white people are killed by Black people, at least they are far more assured of receiving prompt justice.”

        When white people are killed by Black people, those white people are dead. Any justice is then levied against the perpetrators or on behalf of the victims. That there are those still promoting the “hands up, don’t shoot!” lie is a validation of nothing, other than the willingness of some to embrace lies in order to promote an agenda.

        Quote:

        “Black people, rarely.”

        I know that is the meme, but case studies support the alternative point of view. Look up the cases of Marla Hanson, or Christopher Newsom and Channon Christian. The latter was particularly brutal, but not satisfied with the horrific killings members of the black community in Knoxville held a one-year rally in support of the perpetrators, during which they chanted “kill her again,” and burned the two victims in effigy. You can also add in the Tawana Brawley hoax, the Howard Beach affair, and the false prosecution of the Duke Lacrosse Players as evidence of how both liberals and the liberal media handle the question of black on white or white on black crime. Even when the crime in question never took place.

        Quote:

        “Lifer is dead to rights in this assessment, whether one wants to believe it or not.”

        Lifer is parroting the soft bigotry of the left, the meme which insist blacks are incapable of achieving equality or justice, or indeed anything, without white liberals to be angry and intercede for them.

      • 1mime says:

        You do not want to get into a comparison between how many Whites have been killed by Blacks and the reverse scenario, nor how hideous the means. History is not on your side, and, believe me, dead is dead, whether you are White or Black. As you might suspect, I also support the ACA. What’s your plan as a conservative to provide health care to millions of uninsured? For all the criticism of Pres. Obama by the very people who developed the template for the ACA, (Heritage Foundation in behalf of the Republican Party, ’03), it is helping millions be insured, many for the first time. Take a bow, conservative! You were on the right track until you decided it just wasn’t important to provide health care to all “those” people. Republicans had seven years of triple majority control during the Bush administration and offered nothing except the RX plan which was purely an offset to the bigger plan, the two income tax cuts. They “charged” the RX plan to the taxpayer, and took their tax cuts and ran. The ACA has many flaws. If conservatives want to offer a better plan – do it!

        “Lifer is parroting the soft bigotry of the left….”

        You know what? Black people do need our help and your help to achieve equality. And, sometimes I do get angry and a lot of the time, I am simply sad, sad for our nation and sad that there are people who can’t understand the difference in the quality of justice Blacks have and continue to receive. Even when it stares them in the face, they hide behind inane statements like “Blacks are incapable of achieving equality or justice or indeed anything, without White liberals to be angry and intercede for them.”

        Welcome to the blog, Sistrin.

    • How do you know he was killed because he was white?
      Have you examined the case – his life history?
      How do you know he was not killed because he ran over this guys dog – or raped his sister?

      How do you know he was killed because he was white – maybe he was the 7th cop that guy saw and “jesus” told him to kill the 7th cop he saw

      But NO you “Know” it was because he was a black man killing a white man

  6. flypusher says:

    The stupid on this one just burns:

    http://montgomerycountypolicereporter.com/montgomery-county-woman-tweet-implied-deputy-goforth-deserved-to-be-executed-because-he-had-creepy-perv-eyes/

    I don’t think that SHSU would be in the right to expel her for expressing that opinion, despite how horribly offensive it is. If they wanted to boot her for extreme stupidity that makes the school look bad, I’d be down with that. Seriously, if there is an outstanding warrant out on you, calling attention to yourself like that is idiocy.

    • 1mime says:

      Wow. Vox does good work. The video that offered a series of police encounters that turned bad (for the “victim/individual”), shared an important finding. In Rialto, CA, after body cameras were introduced, police violence dropped 60%. 60%! At the same time, the video also reported that body cameras (and dash cameras) helped exonerate officers from unfounded charges of abuse.

      Seems simple to me: All police should wear body cameras; they need to be turned on from the time the decision is made to engage (traffic stop, breaking into a home, etc); and the audio up. Dashboard cameras, being fixed, are a good back up but the body cameras are key.

      I learned yesterday that the cities of Dallas and Houston, TX are implementing body cameras for their police. They are phasing them in, one precinct at a time. Put them on all officers asap.

  7. Sir Magpie De Crow says:

    I would like 1mine to consider this issue from yet another vantage point.

    An issue that relates to what should and shouldn’t be said in this country. Consider that those who are advocating for the police to be held accountable for their misdeeds have been denigrated or made villains by conservatives/police unions. Not even in some cases for comments like “F#$! the Police!” or “Kill the Pigs”. I am talking fairly innocuous stuff… hands up, don’t shoot, I can’t breath and if I had a son he would look like Trayvon Martin.

    Arch-conservatives have effectively said “inflammatory rhetoric” like this have put the lives of the police in danger.

    Meanwhile rhetoric on the other side looks like this: Trump calls Mexicans mostly criminals, drug dealers and rapists… Jeb Bush complains about Asian anchor babies… Chris Christie wants to track immigrants (also human beings) like Fed Ex shipping packages, Rand Paul has expressed mirthful contentment that he didn’t have to encounter those horrible denizens of Baltimore and Ben Carsen has put gays/lesbians/etc. in the same category as pedophiles (& those people who screw goats) when discussing gay marriage.

    Yet if I were to call them out on that language, the dangerousness of it, I would be put in the category of the truly damned. The Politically Correct (PC) police.

    So 1mine, I would genuinely like to ask you one question:
    Whose lives do you think get put in danger when you have high profile politicians that talk like that? Is that not as bad if not worse than the rhetorical excesses of the BLM movement.

    If anyone is struggling with this question here is a little reminder that might help.

    http://gawker.com/donald-trump-boston-bros-who-beat-up-a-homeless-man-j-1725421522

    • 1mime says:

      I absolutely agree that there is a double standard for Black people not only in policing and within the justice system, but in many other areas of social engagement. People like “us” who speak out against the injustices suffered by Black people, other minorities and women are also in the line of fire. That’s ok, it’s important that White people stand up for people who have few defenders. I absolutely support the effort BLM is mounting and hope they will be successful. It won’t be easy in the face of abject bigotry and cultural stereotyping, but they know that. Do I believe that other people with different views of “justice” from my own are correct in their views? Sometimes. I try to keep an open mind especially with people I respect, like TThor. My point dealt with keeping the discussion issue-oriented, not personal, which I have been guilty of myself. IMHO, the goal should be to inform and learn from our exchanges.

      As for Representative Brady’s remarks – Part of my purpose in providing the text of his email was to demonstrate another point of view. The other was to illustrate how difficult it is going to be to get people like him to understand where BLM is coming from. I intend to send my response to him to let him know how I feel on the issue. That’s all I can do other than not vote for him.

      I hope that sufficiently addresses your question and concern, Sir Magpie. I agree with you completely on your observations on the mentally ill. My approach is always to look for the factors that precipitate violence and anger, and deal with them before a tragedy occurs. In TX as elsewhere in GOPdom, funding has been cut severelyfrom Medicaid services for mental health. In TX, the Legislature also voted to cut services for the severely profoundly handicapped and other serious conditions – many of which are chronic – old and young children, alike. These Legislators are the people who pass laws and control the budget in the state where I live. It’s pitiful.

      • Sir Magpie De Crow says:

        I thank you for the thoughtful response 1mine. I may speak in a manner that may make some people uncomfortable or even upset, but I always try to do a modicum of research and consider all sides before I write something. My preference is not to resort to overly adversarial responses to political positions I disagree with.

        But how does one stay polite/or even-tempered in the face of the dark miasma of irrational xenophobia, grotesque homophobia and casual racial animus stoked by the likes of political absurdities like Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Ben Carsen.

        I’m just frustrated. Sometimes when hear people that support the likes of that insufferable triumvirate I just wish I can say to them, “Really? Maybe you should think long and hard about what they are saying? Do you really want to sign up for this?”

        This discussion in regards to police violence and abuses of power isn’t academic to me nor some frivolous intellectual discussion. I have relatives of all hues across this nation whom I consider in the line of fire.

        So when I hear this kind of dialogue I don’t think of “those” people or the “other”… I think about my family.

        Not to get too off topic, but just where the heck is the party and the conservative movement heading?

        It blows my mind to think that once upon a time, those John Birch hordes were driven out of the Republican party by the likes of William F. Buckley. But today we have the spectacle of the GOP being dominated by the likes of the billionaire Koch brothers, sons of Fred C. Koch, a founding member of… the John Birch Society.

        The party of Lincoln has now become a party where someone like Trent Lott can say, “the spirit of Jefferson Davis lives on in the Republican Platform.”

        WTF?! I do not understand what is going on, but at least I know it is probably not good.

      • 1mime says:

        For what it’s worth, Sir Magpie (cute nom de plume), you have a lot of company. Lifer is the one to answer your question about where the Republican Party is headed….if he knows. (I certainly don’t!) I have voted split ticket many times in my life, but since 2000, I am firmly in the Democratic camp. Despite the party’s weaknesses, which have been laid out clearly on this blog, the values that I hold most dear – equality, fairness, respect for all people regardless of race, gender, or ethnicity – are best served through the party with the “big tent”.

        Conservatives used to offer a fine balancing point in business and strategic planning and fiscal discipline. That party doesn’t exist anymore. Instead, the party is now dominated by narrowness of thinking, exclusivity, bigotry and intolerance on a whole range of topics. Thankfully, there are many traditional Republicans who comment on this blog. I like to engage with them and learn from them. Lifer does a great job of researching and presenting issues and topics that provoke stimulating discussion. Lots of smart people participate and if you hang around, I think you’ll find it to your liking.

      • Sir Magpie De Crow says:

        Thanks Scott Walker, for reemphasizing my point:

        Scott Walker alleges ‘a rise in anti-police rhetoric’ under President Obama

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2015/09/02/scott-walker-alleges-a-rise-in-anti-police-rhetoric-under-president-obama/

        Choice excerpt from article:

        “Walker has also suggested that violence could be reduced if families were stronger, and fathers were more involved with their children’s lives.”

        Fatherless children, that’s a real problem for society. I know a family where the father hasn’t been involved in his children’s lives and won’t be for the foreseeable future. His name is Walter Lamar Scott.

  8. Sir Magpie De Crow says:

    Oh, and now this:

    “Home Detention for White Police Chief Who Shot Black Man”

    “A white ex-police chief pleaded guilty Tuesday to misconduct in office in the 2011 shooting death of an unarmed black man and was sentenced to a year of home detention.

    Prosecutors agreed to drop the murder charge against 38-year-old Richard Combs, the former police chief of the small town of Eutawville, in exchange for his guilty plea. Combs stood trial twice on the murder charge, but both cases ended with hung juries. He would have faced 30 years to life if convicted of murder.

    Instead, he faced up to 10 years behind bars on the misconduct in office charge. Combs’ lawyer said he decided to plead guilty to the lesser charge because he was emotionally and financially exhausted.

    Authorities say Combs shot Walter Bailey in May 2011 as he tried to arrest him on an obstruction of justice charge weeks after he argued about his daughter’s traffic ticket.

    Prosecutors said the obstruction warrant was trumped up because Combs was angry that Bailey made him look bad on the side on the road.

    When Bailey came to talk to the police chief at Eutawville Town Hall about the traffic ticket, Combs was not threatened and could have stepped away, but fired his weapon anyway, hitting Bailey three times, prosecutors said.

    Defense attorneys said Combs feared for his life because he was leaning into Bailey’s pickup and had just seconds to react. They said he had no pepper spray or a Taser, which left him no option but his gun.

    The jury in the first case voted 9-3 to convict Combs. The jury in the second case voted 8-4 to convict, with four jurors wanting to convict Combs of murder, four wanting to convict him of voluntary manslaughter and four who thought he was not guilty, Solicitor David Pascoe said in a hearing at the Orangeburg County courthouse.

    Eutawville suspended Combs after the shooting and dismissed him several months later. The town reached a $400,000 wrongful death settlement with Bailey’s family.”

    My opinion Mr. Tracy Thorleifson : A cheap insulting financial settlement for the victim’s family and a cheap, farcical example of justice for the deceased.

    This was in South Carolina.

    So tell Mr. Thorleifson, are you still 100% certain Michael Slager is going to get severely punished?… or maybe he will only be required to make amends by being grounded in the comfort of his home.

    • 1mime says:

      Not that TThor needs my support, but, he does not strike me as callous to injustice, he simply comes at it from a different vantage. Despite our disagreement on many issues, including this one, he is thoughtful, articulate, courteous and honest in his postings. I was deeply touched by the shootings at the Black church and at Sandy Hook, and others (Rice, etc). I am also highly attuned to inequality issues, especially those of selective justice. TThor has a very personal association with the neighborhood and the individual who committed the heinous murder of Deputy Goforth which provoked strong feelings as it would for any of us. The value of this blog is that it provides a forum where we can each express our opinions and feelings – even if they run counter to the majority. Let’s not kill the messengers.

  9. Sir Magpie De Crow says:

    Has anyone ever considered that a the recent (and regrettable) shootings of police officers is the inevitable outcome of a country where the severely mentally ill have a far easier time acquiring a handgun or an Ar-15… than consistent mental health care? Maybe there needs to be an honest to god “Mental Health Care Matters” movement that works concurrently with the BLM movement.

    Now I know Tracy Thorleifson probably thinks all those Negroid, thuggish, fatherless looters calling for police accountability *or prosecution for blatant abuses) should just go “kick rocks”… but he needs to consider the possibility that he may be overestimating the virtuousness and competence of LEO’s.

    Case in point, this story below. It is an epic of epic fails.

    http://www.cnn.com/2015/09/01/us/georgia-wrong-house-shooting/

    • 1mime says:

      TIC (tongue in cheek)….a diversion

      All those war hawks in Congress can give foreign engagement a rest now. Appears that things are in sufficient disarray right here in their own backyards. Ugh, not exactly “their” backyards…..some backyards…..oh, then it’s not important….

      ION (in other news)

      All these shooting encounters are having a deleterious affect on the 2016 presidential campaign. Seems that airwaves are being filled with news of all the shootings and no one appears interested in politicians these days.

      That is not all bad.

  10. texan5142 says:

    “Pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon!” – BLM marchers’ chant

    Some marchers said that yes, up here in MN at the state fair. Should we judge the whole movement on what a few said? Yes you say, then remember that when I judge the tea party on what some of their members say, or all Texans for what a few crazy Texans say. See how that works.

    Faux “news” on the Charleston shooting

    Steve Doocy: Uhhh, it was released earlier—and extraordinarily they called it a hate crime—uhhh, and some look at it, because it was a white guy, apparently, and a black church, uhh, but you made a great point just a moment ago about the hostility towards Christians, so—and it was a church! So, maybe that’s what their talking about. They haven’t explained it to us.

    Faux “news” on two white journalist being shoot.

    CARLSON: But it says in the manifesto that — he wrote 23 pages and faxed to ABC News and now in the hands of Fox — he talks about race a lot. He put the initials of the Charleston church shooting victims on the bullets that he used today. He praised the Virginia Tech mass killer, the Columbine high school killers, says he was being attacked for being a gay black man. He shot three white people today. Why is that not a hate crime?

    To recap, when a white man shoots and kills people in a black church, there must be some other reason than a hate crime, it is mental illness. When a black man kills three white people it must be a hate crime not mental illness.

    Black man kill Texas trooper, BLM is a hate group and should be labeled as such. Faux “news” stirs up shit that got an DR.Tiller killed, shouldn’t Faux be labled a hate group?

    http://www.salon.com/2009/05/31/tiller_2/

    I could go on, but the false outrage is getting old.

    • 1mime says:

      Still, TX, those involved in the BLM are wrong to taunt with comments like pigs in a blanket. It does their legitimate agenda no good and lots of harm. The Fox news commentary is so predictable I don’t know why they even call it news.

  11. michaelhl says:

    Here is a new disturbing “Hands up, don’t shoot” video. A shirtless, unarmed white man with his hands up, shot and killed by police. This happened in San Antonio.
    http://www.ksat.com/news/ksatcom-exclusive-unedited-video-of-fatal-deputy-involved-shooting

    The way that cops are willing to shoot unarmed civilians is a problem for everyone. It falls on Black people disproportionately, but every citizen should be concerned by this sort of behavior.

    • vikinghou says:

      Damn. Besides the shooting, I was disturbed by how cavalier the officers seemed to act, as if this was something routine. Even the EMTs didn’t exactly rush to the guy’s aid.

      • michaelhl says:

        CNN Story. Police claimed this man had a knife and that they tased him and used a shield, but they didn’t know about the video when they made those statements. That is seriously messed up.
        http://www.cnn.com/2015/09/01/us/san-antonio-bexar-county-texas-police-shooting/

        BLM should pick up on this incident, because it clearly demonstrates exactly what they are talking about.

      • 1mime says:

        I noticed in the video that the police moved the body. I’m not a lawyer, but isn’t the body’s position part of the evidence in the crime scene? Also, I listened to a discussion on radio on which they recounted that the sheriff had asked people to tweet or call in their comments….thinking, I guess, that the police would be supported in this shooting. Surprisingly (to him at least) the majority of the calls were outraged at the shooting, which with the private video backup, proved the man had his hands up. What more can I say? I don’t see how law enforcement is going to tweak this shooting to their advantage. Even if the man had a knife held up in the air (that will be soon determined by mining the footage of the video as neither officer had body cameras on. No mention of dash cameras but it will be interesting to compare that footage with the untouched raw footage of the private camera , plus, the neighbor who was recording is a witness. This has got to stop.

  12. TheMeansAreTheEnd says:

    I think this monologue from “The Wire” describes a key problem with policing today:

    “I mean you call something a war, and pretty soon everyone is going to be running around acting like warriors. They gonna be running around on a damn crusade, storming corners, racking up body counts. And when you’re at war, you need a fucking enemy. And pretty soon damn near everybody on every corner is your fucking enemy. Pretty soon the neighborhood you’re supposed to be policing is just occupied territory. Soldiering and policing they ain’t the same thing. Before we took the wrong turn and start up with these war games, a cop walked a beat, and he learned that post. And if there were things that happened on that post, whether there be a rape, a robbery, a shooting, he had people out there helping him, feeding him information. But every time I came to you, my DEU sergeant for information, to find out what’s going on out on those streets… all that came back was some bullshit. You had your stats, your arrests, your seizures, but don’t none of that amount to shit when it comes to protecting the neighborhood, now do it?”

  13. vikinghou says:

    Race notwithstanding, I there is a built-in tension between LEOs in America and the citizens they serve. During each interaction with a citizen, the LEO has to assume the citizen may be armed. The resulting paranoia can result in unfortunate consequences.

    • Anse says:

      It really depends on where you live. The problem for me is whether or not an officer’s default authoritarian demeanor is not actually exacerbating whatever problem he encounters in a poor neighborhood. I guarantee you the same cop will act differently in River Oaks. Some will say but of course he will, he has nothing to fear in River Oaks. My feeling, though, is that if you go into a neighborhood with the attitude that everybody is a suspect of some crime as-yet-undiscovered, you will inevitably encounter hostility. We have this unreasonable expectation that cops must be given a wide berth when it comes to dealing with the public. But I agree with Chris’s sentiment. I don’t have to worry around cops because I know I’m likely to get a fair shake. I’m not going to be pulled over because I looked at a cop funny.

      • 1mime says:

        You are correct, Anse. I was sad to see (the inevitable) politicization of the deputies death by the Sheriff, surrounded by a coterie of “who’s who”. Full page article criticizing the BLM position wioth the inevitable “All Lives Matter” retort. Of course, ALM! But, as you point out, some lives matter more….This is what we’re dealing with here, and this is what the organizers of BLM are speaking out against. What’s so unfortunate is that a death (of anyone) is used as a political opportunity by the White community to ignore or discredit the legitimate arguments of the Black community for the different kind of justice they routinely are subjected to. It’s why the answers will be so hard for some to see or understand because their “lens” to the world is so limited. Everyone laments the needless, violent death of the officer. But, here it is, almost one year later, and there is still NO resolution or charges in the death of twelve year old Tamir Rice. Shot down, For. playing. in. a. neighborhood. park. with. a. toy. pistol. 12 months later. Now, that is how justice works for Black people.

    • 1mime says:

      Representative Kevin Brady weighs in on the Goforth killing and “BLM/All Lives Matter” via email. It reminds us not to forget that good police are out there doing their job under difficult, dangerous circumstances. There needs to be accountability throughout the process, from initial law enforcement contact to the justice process, including adequate legal counsel, fair trials and appropriate sentencing. That is going to take time and a lot of work. It also means that people in positions of leadership, like Rep. Brady, need to look more broadly at the inequities in policing and all parts of the justice process – including laws. That is his job.

      “The cold-blooded assassination of Harris County Deputy Darren Goforth this past weekend as he was filling up his patrol car at a local gas station ought to be a wake-up call to all Americans. Goforth, a husband whose 5 year old son and 12 year old daughter will never hug their father again, entered law enforcement later in life and was described as a ‘gentle giant’.

      His senseless death, however, doesn’t stand alone. Regrettably, Texas again leads the nation this year in deaths of police officers on duty.

      While the national media hotly debates whether “black lives” or “all lives” matter, it conveniently ignores the consequences of carelessly fanning the flames of hostility against local law enforcement. We saw those consequences in December when two New York police officers were murdered execution-style while sitting in a parked patrol car in Brooklyn.

      When law enforcement is targeted for their uniform – for their commitment to protecting our families, our businesses and communities – we are all targeted. These remarkable men and women who swear to protect and serve simply want to make a difference, to keep us safe, to catch the bad guys and put them behind bars, to make sure our families can live our lives safely and without fear.

      Their work day is so much more dangerous than ours it is unimaginable. We don’t fear for our lives every time we enter a colleague’s office or show up for work. Yet law enforcement risks their lives every time they approach a car pulled to the side of the road or knock on a home door to answer a 9-1-1 call. “

      • 1mime says:

        Lisa Falkenberg, a Houston Chronicle reporter, is unafraid to speak out against abuses levied against the little man and woman. She tackles Sheriff Hickman’s comments calling out BLM as fomenting the violence that caused Deputy Goforth’s murder. There are many interesting comments in the article, but the one I like best is this:

        “…linking a nonviolent group with a coldblooded murder, without proof, isn’t leadership, either. Criticizing the police does not equal hating the police.”

        Of course, this is TX, and in this state, law enforcement is never wrong. That’s a pretty high standard to maintain, but at the very least, those in positions of leadership – the sheriff and the Harris Cty D.A., should be professional and objective in their comments, even during a time of great personal loss. One needs only to think back a few weeks, to the parishioners and families of the nine Black people murdered in the sanctity of their church, who displayed such humble, charitable wisdom in the face of their personal loss….times nine.

        http://digital.olivesoftware.com/Olive/ODE/HoustonChronicle/LandingPage/LandingPage.aspx?href=SEhDLzIwMTUvMDkvMDI.&pageno=MTk.&entity=QXIwMTkwNA..&view=ZW50aXR5

    • 1mime says:

      I thought this comment on TPM from a reader made a lot of sense and complemented your thought, Viking.

      From a TPM Prime member: “Racism ends with one on one relationships: when people of different races get to know each other and begin to see each other as human. That doesn’t happen if the police are playing military. If they are playing military, they have to have an enemy. I think that problem combines with the distance all this military equipment provides between the police and the community. If you’re cruising around in a tank, you’re not coming into contact with many people. If you are pointing weapons and firing orders at people, you’re not talking with or listening to them.

      One solution is to limit the paramilitary equipment police are allowed to use on the communities they police. Another is to require that the police officers live in the communities they police. ”

      Of course, Pres O has moved to greatly limit distribution of paramilitary equipment from the armed services surplus, so that part is at least been modified with common sense, but surplus? Come on, conservatives, why is defense giving away still functioning equipment?

  14. flypusher says:

    A repost, but this is very relevant here:

    http://www.vox.com/2015/8/21/9188729/police-black-lives-matter-campaign-zero

    I don’t 100% agree with all of it! or think each proposal is equally important or doable. #2, Community oversight, should be implemented. There needs to be independent and unbiased investigation when there is an issue of police misconduct. There is no mention of a national database of use of force incidents, which I think is very much needed (but fortunately some citizens have taken that task upon themselves). Likewise #4, to have an independent prosecutor handle cases where the police kill/ injure someone, should go into effect yesterday. #5, more community representation, is best handled by people getting off their butts and getting into the voting booths. For #6 (body cameras), #7 (more training), and #8 ( no more for profit policing), yes, yes, YES! Someone needs to get a civil forfeiture case in front of the SCOTUS so that it can be banned for the 4th Amendment violation it is. #9 (demilitarization) I don’t mind that the cops get this equipment when the Feds are giving it away, but it they can’t figure out when its use is warranted and when it isn’t, then maybe they should pass.

    • 1mime says:

      #1 – End arrests for minor offenses. Key is what constitutes a “minor” offense. Not turning on your turn signal within 100′ of the turn? Failing to use a blinker when changing lanes on a desolate 4 lane country road? Urinating on drunks sleeping off a binge? Having the audacity to make eye contact with a White officer if you’re Black? Or worse, getting killed as a 12 year old while playing at a neighborhood playground with a toy gun? I could go on and on.

      #5 – Community Representation. This is not simply a matter of voting, although I agree that’s part of it. The TAPS program I cited is attempting to better train the police who are located in Black and other minority neighborhoods to be better able to relate to those ethnicities and focus more attention on building trust and doing more intervention. In some areas, police who are willing, are paid extra to live in these areas so that they become not just the face of law enforcement but also are a member of the community.

      #6 – Body Cameras. YESTERDAY! But they must be worn totally enabled (meaning – audio up, camera pointed straight ahead) and to the fullest extent possible, all activity involving the stop should also be in full view of the Dash camera in the police car. (EX. Sandra Bland was put down on the ground where much of the ensuing exchange could not be heard or visually recorded.

      I’d like to add an additional suggestion related to recording police stops. States are passing laws that prohibit observer video (by phone or other camera) within a certain # of feet. (25′ is most common.) This is not unreasonable as long as it still allows police to be videoed w/ clear audio, keeps people out of the way but close enough to record what’s happening – again, including the audio. Of course if police all wear body cameras, this would provide cross-documentation that would be invaluable. People engaged lawfully in videoing a police activity should not told to put their cameras away, which abridges individual rights and sullies the integrity of the police activity. Further, legal clarification is needed regarding the rights of a stopped person within their car as to video, smoking, etc.

      Finally (ah…), here is another link to the Campaign Zero agenda that offers additional detail.

      http://static1.squarespace.com/static/55ad38b1e4b0185f0285195f/t/55dceb94e4b066bafafb056e/1440541588304/Campaign+ZERO+Policy+Agendas.pdf

    • Creigh says:

      Absolutely, positively, 100% agree with you on #8, civil forfeiture. That’s one area where EVERY candidate should have a position. But you have to be a little careful about making this a court issue. Any lawyer will tell you never to ask a question you don’t know the answer to. Maybe the lawyers out there are afraid if they ask courts to rule on civil forfeiture they might not get the answer they want.

      • flypusher says:

        My impression from what I have read (and I don’t claim to have researched this topic exhaustively) is that the cops can seize your property, and the burden of proof is on you to get it back. Some people conclude that it’s not worth the time/effort/aggravation/$, and the cops win by default. For those who do fight, once it’s obvious that they are not giving up, the authorities are inclined to settle, because the last thing they want is for such a case to get high up in the court system and face a Constitutional challenge. I’d love to see a plaintiff refuse such a settlement and take it to SCOTUS, assuming they have the option (any lawyers who could comment on that?), but I can understand why they would quit once they finally got ahead.

        Of course Congress and the President could deal with this. It is possible to craft a sweeping Fedeal law that forbids any seizure of property until and unless there is a conviction of an actual crime, and the property in question has a demonstrated relavance to said crime (I.e. you used that van for human trafficking, and you were found guilty of human trafficking). There should also be an equivalent of habeus corpus for held property to avoid abuse of “we’re holding it for evidence”.

        Of course, one huge contributor to this whole mess not mentioned is the whole failed war on drugs. That needs to be shaken up at the very least, and probably just scrapped.

      • duncancairncross says:

        Re – Civil Forfeiture
        You guys are doing it wrong
        BUT
        Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater
        If somebody has a lot of wealth with no visible source IMHO it is entirely appropriate to ask him/her where it came from and if it cannot be shown to have been legitimately acquired to confiscate it

        But that does NOT mean the cops just taking it
        It means the court asking the questions and the suspect answering those questions in court
        There should also be a statute of limitations – otherwise we would have to look at where the Bush family got its fortune

      • Shiro17 says:

        “I’d love to see a plaintiff refuse such a settlement and take it to SCOTUS, assuming they have the option (any lawyers who could comment on that?), but I can understand why they would quit once they finally got ahead.”

        You can always refuse to settle, but it’s always up to the client whether to accept a settlement deal or not. You’d have to have a client that would be willing to go the distance, both financially and time-wise. In addition, it would be difficult to get it up to SCOTUS in the first place since 1) if you win at a lower hearing, the other side will very likely not want to appeal in order to “contain” the holding to just one jurisdiction, 2) SCOTUS might not take the case anyway, or 3) you could lose at SCOTUS (very likely with an entrenched conservative majority on criminal matters).

        A legislative solution will depend of course on the make-up of Congress. There might be enough libertarians and paranoid crazies on the Republican side that would support some level of control over civil forfeiture. BUT, the main issue I foresee is that all of the police forces that benefit from civil forfeiture now will probably want another funding source to make up the difference that they lose (money is always an issue everywhere).

        At the very least, thanks to John Oliver, a lot of people are aware of the issue now.

  15. Anse says:

    Looks like this suspect has a history of mental illness. It’s anybody’s guess if this will be in any way relevant to a jury, and I don’t offer any thoughts about whether it should.

    It’s hard to think of criminals as rational people. But I think it’s probably true that most have a distinct motive for their actions, however ridiculous or ill-considered it may be. Straight-up random killings just for the thrill of killing don’t happen very often, and when they do, seems reasonable to assume that there is mental illness involved.

    http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/aug/31/accused-killer-texas-police-officer-mental-illness

  16. We have an issue with racism here – nothing like as serious as yours but Maori are overrepresented in the poor and in jail

    IMHO there are a number of steps that need to be taken
    (1) – Equality in the face of the law
    This has to be top priority, we are not there yet but all citizens need to be treated the same

    (2) – Fix poverty!!!

    One of the worse things you can do is let the “general poor” think a specific part of society is getting a special deal
    That just adds fuel to the flames

    The Maori here were cheated in the past
    (not enslaved that would not have been a safe thing to have tried)
    But everybody from that period is long dead, the Romans introduced the idea of a statute of limitations because you can’t fix a series of historical wrongs
    We can’t remedy the initial crime
    Trying to identify descendents of those sinned against hits a problem
    I remember seeing a great cartoon
    A Big Maori in full ceremonial dress was saying
    “I want to be compensated for the wrongs done to my Maori ancestors – by my Pakeha (white) ancestors”

    We can’t fix that
    Aiming compensation at poor Maori just gets poor Pakeha irritated

    We can fix it by eliminating poverty
    NZ is rich enough to do that (and our “poor” are a LOT richer than your poor)
    The USA is a LOT richer than NZ
    You could eliminate the extremes of wealth which is the only way that
    “Black Lives are going to matter”

    • Doug says:

      “We can fix it by eliminating poverty”

      We tried that half a century ago. It didn’t work. How would you do it differently?

      • Creigh says:

        We eliminated poverty half a century ago? Damn, I missed that.

      • Creigh says:

        Sorry, Doug, couldn’t resist that. But what do the techies say? Try. Fail. Try again. Fail better. Eliminating poverty isn’t a misguided goal we should give up on. But yes, it’s hard.

      • 1mime says:

        One of the things Social Security was designed for half a century ago (more or less) was to reduce elderly poverty. It has worked pretty well in that regard (unless we start messing with it too much). Poverty for children is the largest single category – 32%. We’ve started feeding kids breakfast to help, and it does. Medicaid picks up children with illnesses. But, obviously, given the #1 position children occupy on the poverty scale, the problem is still unacceptably large. Could it be that families (who have children) need more or different kinds of help…..the UBI Lifer suggests could be a start. Frankly, I think all of us know people who are good people, have lost jobs, or have experienced a life-altering event somewhere in their family (parents, accidents, chronic illnesses, acute illnesses) that can bankrupt them or strip savings. For America to lead the world in personal bankruptcy attributable to health issues is unacceptable.

        The income divide is well documented. What is not so visual are the actual day to day manifestations of being poor or not having enough income to manage life’s basic and periodic problems. Those who think that America has done all it should or could in ameliorating this horrible family situation, need to get out into some poor areas and do some soul searching. As human beings, we have a deeper, moral obligation to our fellow man, if nothing more than trying to really, deeply understand what it is like to be poor. That is not attainable if one chooses to close one’s mind and heart to a broader world than our own….snug, safe, in control, financially secure…..what we all work for and hope for not only for ourselves, but for our families and friends. Become aware if you’re not. Reach out and help someone less fortunate.

      • duncancairncross says:

        Eliminating Poverty

        All it takes is the political will power
        The UBI would do it in one fell swoop
        (It would need to include a sum for children)

        Here (NZ) we don’t have any old people below the poverty line
        Simply because we have a national “superannuation” (pension for the over 65’s)
        which is linked to average income and is above the poverty line

        Now we need to do the same for children

  17. Well, this one strikes a little close to home. The murderer was a resident of my old neighborhood; he was taken into custody just down the street from my old house. Deputy Goforth was callously murdered at a Chevron station where I used to buy gas (typically on the way to or from church). The shooter was a classmate of my children, played football at their high school, and graduated a year ahead of my daughter. My wife doesn’t recall him directly, but it’s likely he passed through her classroom. In other words, this individual was afforded pretty much the same middle class upbringing and education as my own kids.

    Somewhere along the line something went badly wrong with this person. Following high school my daughter went on to earn multiple advanced degrees, did a stint with Teach for America (where she met her husband) and is now a lawyer at a major Houston law firm. My son went on to graduate from the US Naval Academy and is now a helo pilot instructor at the Naval flight training facility in Pensacola. The murderer, on the other hand, went on from high school to earn a lengthy arrest record, and was living at home with his mother in the same house he grew up in the night he decided to go out and cravenly take the life of another human being.

    This is not about BLM. This is not about skin color. Plenty of other kids with other-than-white skin from the same neighborhood went on to achievements much like those of my own kids. This is about life choices, about right and wrong, about good and evil. This piece of human refuse had the same opportunities to do something positive with his life as the kids he grew up with: my kids, and dozens of others in the same few blocks of that neighborhood. Instead he made poor choices, repeatedly. He chose a path of evil, and will now reap his just reward. It’s just a crying shame he had to take a good man with him.

    As for the BLM/Hands up crowd, isn’t it curious how the entirely justifiable shooting of a similar cur by law enforcement is somehow a national tragedy worthy of bloody riots, but the heinous murder of an officer of the law, a servant of the community, a father and a husband, apparently means absolutely nothing? Frankly, it turns my stomach.

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      TT…with all respect brother, spin around and you’ll probably see the point. You may not be incorrect about your point, but that is not the point of BLM.

      Lifer summarizes it well. There is no doubt that justice will be brought to this individual. There is plenty of doubt that justice will avail itself when the victim is a Black civilian.

      • HH, I understand Chris’ point quite well; I am simply losing the capacity to care. In the most recent case of an unjustified shooting of a black man by a white officer, justice has been swift and sure. Walter Scott’s murderer was charged with murder immediately; a grand jury returned a murder indictment in two months, and it’s almost certain at this point that Michael Slager will never again see the light of day. As is entirely proper, because that scumbag disgraced the uniform and tarnished the badges of countless honest, hardworking South Carolina law enforcement officers. Contrast that with the utter nonsense surrounding the Martin and Brown cases.

        I’m sorry if I sound harsh; I’m just fed up. I grew up with LEO’s in the family, so perhaps I’m a little more sensitized to the crap and mayhem they deal with constantly on a daily basis. Trust me, the average LEO does not generally interact with the sorts of gentlefolk who inhabit this blog space.

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        Tracy, Walter Scott’s murderer was inducted, yes. But only because direct video evidence surfaced that showed the cop who killed him, as well as the two other cops at the scene, all lied and conspired in their official statement.

        Without that video, how likely do you think charges would be? (Hint: it’s 0%).

    • karl victor says:

      similar ? similar to what ? A black man playing with a toy gun in Walmart is shot dead by police. A black 12 year old playing with a toy gun in the park in front his home is shot dead by the police. The Brown kid was not a saint. really? He was jay walking and took a bullet in the head as he was down on his knees. Have any of these cops been prosecuted ? What is similar ? How about nothing.

      • 1mime says:

        That is Lifer’s message and Homer’s point as well. Justice for Black people is not the same as for White people. We are agreed on this point and trying to acknowledge this truth and do what we can to change it for the better.

      • karl victor says:

        ok, it seems this comment board is populated by a number of sane folks so lets fix it right now.
        1. America needs to see “a bad apple in a blue uniform” frog marched into court for killing ANY unarmed American citizen. I’ll take anywhere in America but would prefer Bellaire, Tx.
        2. America needs to see a “a bad apple actually convicted” for killing a unarmed American citizen. Until #2 happens, its all just talk. Actually I think the Cop in North Carolina who shot the runner in the back and then planted a weapon might be the first to POSSIBLY be convicted. We saw what Cathy Whitmire did when she brought in Lee Brown to tame HPD. We also saw what Lee Brown did when he disarmed New York city. He took guns off the street and crime went down. On another note, I smell a rat in Chicago. it seems that once President Obama was elected, gun crimes in the windy city exploded.

      • Karl, I know this is hard for some to grasp, but cops’ lives matter, too. They have the same right to return home alive at the end of the day as you or I. No officer is obligated to try to distinguish between a toy gun and a real gun when attempting to do so may cost his or her life. Here’s a bit of very, very practical advice for you: should the police happen to roll up on you, you had darn well better make sure your hands are empty and plainly visible. And if you aren’t smart enough to teach your kids that, we’ll just chalk up the tragic result to Darwinism at work. In the same vein, if you assault a law officer in his vehicle, and attempt to wrest away his firearm and kill him with it, then you shouldn’t be all surprised when you end up with a bullet in your noggin.

        Michael Brown was a violent punk. The Cypress thug is a violent punk. No more excuses.

      • flypusher says:

        “No officer is obligated to try to distinguish between a toy gun and a real gun when attempting to do so may cost his or her life. ”

        Tracy, I trust you saw the video footage of the Tamir Rice shooting? Do you think the cops acted properly there? Did they even give the kid a chance to drop the gun and show his hands?

      • No, Fly, I don’t think the police acted properly in the Tamir Rice shooting. Not in the shooting itself, per se, but in actively putting themselves in a situation where the shooting became inevitable. In any potentially violent confrontation distance is your friend. Knowing that they were rolling up on a person who was reported to be armed, those officers should have given themselves sufficient distance to effectively employ the tactical OODA loop: observe, orient, decide, act. Instead they rolled right up on Tamir Rice. The officer exiting the patrol car had no time to orient or observe; he was forced to make a nearly instantaneous decision. He made the wrong decision, with tragic results.

      • flypusher says:

        We’re in 100% agreement here. The cops totally screwed this up. Yet as obvious as that is, 10 months later, they’re still investigating. No charges, no firings even AFAIK. So Rice’s family feels the same sort of pain the Goforth family feels, plus the added pain that no one has been held accountable, and no one may ever be held accountable. Outrage about that is justifiable. Whether the outrage is channeled in an acceptable/ productive manner is where the individual responsibility comes in.

      • Fly, it may not seem just, but the truth is that cops are rightfully held to a different standard than you or I as civilians. Neither you nor I would ever voluntarily confront an individual we knew to be armed if we could possibly avoid it. Police, on the other hand, are *duty bound* to confront that armed individual. Those cops didn’t get up that morning thinking they were going to go work and shoot somebody that day, let alone a kid with a toy gun. They simply did their job poorly; they made an egregious error in judgment. The result was tragic, but that doesn’t make the officer a murderer, nor does it even necessarily make him guilty of manslaughter or negligent homicide. This particular case is very far from cut and dried. Sometimes a tragedy is just a tragedy (in the Greek sense, an unavoidable, albeit horrible, moira).

      • karl victor says:

        yeah.. uh no.. I don’t think so. 1. the police are trained to use guns. That does not mean “kill shot” every dad gum time they pull the trigger. Seriously, explain to me how a white man can walk into a Colorado movie theater, shoot at least 70 people, killing 12 of them, walk away, get arrested without one lump on his forehead and then get life in prison. ? You are sitting trying to rationalize how a child can be killed by police for playing cowboys and Indians in the park. ? And you have no idea what anyone (other than yourself) was thinking when they woke up one morning. Anyone who is “trained as a peace officer” is held to NOT to a different standard but a HIGHER standard. Again, this Sherriff’s death was tragic. Every murder is tragic. It is also tragic that the district attorney did not say anything until one of her’s was killed.

      • flypusher says:

        Except that this was avoidable. You mentioned a few posts up what the proper response to this situation is. I assume that the cops knew that too (hell, I knew it, and I don’t have any police/ military training). Yet they chose to do the exact opposite. FWIW I don’t think they had any desire to shoot anyone. But they could have prevented what happened. Shouldn’t there be accountability for that? Shouldn’t they at the very least be fired for a screwup that lead to an unnecessary death? Seriously, what’s not cut and dried about that?

        There’s also questions about delays in first aid to Rice after the shooting, which could bring negligence into the equation.

      • johngalt says:

        The Tamir Rice case is as egregious an example of criminal incompetence as I have ever seen. The officers rolled up with no tactical awareness of the situation and shot a 12-year old before their car had even stopped moving. They then did not call for medical assistance for critical minutes. If we don’t prosecute that, what sort of police misconduct will be prosecute? Murder, maybe not (though one could argue their haste was evidence of premeditation), but certainly manslaughter or negligent homicide.

    • flypusher says:

      “As for the BLM/Hands up crowd, isn’t it curious how the entirely justifiable shooting of a similar cur by law enforcement is somehow a national tragedy worthy of bloody riots, but the heinous murder of an officer of the law, a servant of the community, a father and a husband, apparently means absolutely nothing? Frankly, it turns my stomach.”

      Ferguson was about much more than Brown; that shooting was just the tipping point. I don’t see Brown as an innocent victim, but when you’ve built up that much bad will, even a bad guy can become a martyr. That’s not the hill to die on, not with all the other cases where police misconduct is obvious.

    • goplifer says:

      Tracy, thank you for this account. Kudos on the Naval Academy. Hopefully you still show your daughter some degree of love and respect even though she became a lawyer.

      I also know that neighborhood well. My boss lived out there when I was lost in the darkness of the legal profession. You’re right, like many Houston neighborhoods it is fairly diverse.

      Chances are we’re going to discover that this guy is crazy as a loon. He did it to please Jesus or Jodie Foster or the neighbor’s dog. Hardly matters though, because the DA and the Sheriff are already on record with a motive, before they even had a suspect.

      There won’t be riots because the guy who died is white, and white people in Texas have no need for a riot. They control every aspect of public affairs along with the vast majority of all the property and capital around them. They won’t riot for the same reason that white religious fundamentalists seldom resort to political violence – they don’t feel like they need to – not yet. They have plenty of means to express their political will.

      Deputy Goforth’s family will get the access justice that he and every other American deserves. Your black neighbors can never be so sure of that for themselves. Maybe we all have an interest in trying to fix that.

      • “Pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon!” – BLM marchers’ chant

        Chris, honestly, I don’t care what the murderer’s motive was, nor whether he’s crazy as a loon. I have no tolerance for a brand of evil living around the corner that in it’s profound banality puts anything the febrile imagination of Stephen King ever conjured up to shame. Nor do I have any tolerance for those who condone or excuse in any way, shape, or form, such evil.

        At the end of the day it matters not one whit to Deputy Goforth’s children or widow whether “white people in Texas… control every aspect of public affairs along with the vast majority of all the property and capital around them.” That’s not going to bring Mrs. Goforth’s husband back; nor is it going to bring those children’s father back. Political will? Don’t make me vomit.

        Here’s a point for you that Lucretius made two thousand years ago: This is it. This life is all that we have in this world, and ultimately time takes everything single thing away from every single one of us. Tragedy and grief stalk us all; there is no one among us who has not already, or will not in the future lose loved ones to accident or illness. Nor will any of us escape death, promises of the life to come in that undiscovered country notwithstanding. The *only* thing that is in our control is how we choose to use whatever time is allotted to us. So, perhaps, just perhaps, instead of fostering a culture of grievance, victimhood, dependency, envy and spite, we ought to spend our time a little more constructively. Perhaps we ought to concentrate on leaving our own little corner of creation just a little better than we found it. Perhaps we ought to concentrate on fostering all the good things in life: love, friendship, fidelity, loyalty, care and support for those souls Providence brings into our lives. Perhaps we ought to pause once in a while and give thanks to our Maker for the time that we have, and whatever gifts come our way, regardless of how meager they might be, or undeserving we might be.

        *Screw* BLM. No more excuses.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        TT – As usual, you are not incorrect:

        “So, perhaps, just perhaps, instead of fostering a culture of grievance, victimhood, dependency, envy and spite, we ought to spend our time a little more constructively. Perhaps we ought to concentrate on leaving our own little corner of creation just a little better than we found it. Perhaps we ought to concentrate on fostering all the good things in life: love, friendship, fidelity, loyalty, care and support for those souls Providence brings into our lives. Perhaps we ought to pause once in a while and give thanks to our Maker for the time that we have, and whatever gifts come our way, regardless of how meager they might be, or undeserving we might be.”

        However, your (or my) point of view certainly is not everyone’s point of view.

        “People are always wanting to know- why are black people rioting? Why are POC interrupting the president? Why are those black women disrupting the Netroots panel? Why are they shutting down Bernie’s campaign stop? Why are the coloreds doing things that *i* consider to be unstrategic?

        I’ll tell you why. It’s because nobody listens to black people until we fuck their shit up. That’s what works. And we are trying to survive, so that’s what we do.”

      • “It’s because nobody listens to black people until we fuck their shit up. That’s what works.”

        Except that it doesn’t work, HH. When it come right down to it, people like me (white, well off, well armed, innately, culturally aggressive, and well accustomed to being on top) have always held the upper hand when it comes to fucking people’s shit up. What goes around, comes around, with interest. Attempt to fuck white America’s shit up very much at your own risk. Or as an old bar-brawling buddy of mind was fond of announcing to those who tweaked his ire, “Fuck around, fuck around, pretty soon you won’t *be* around.”

        HH, when it comes to fighting social injustice, MLK showed us what works. Fucking somebody’s shit up is the very antithesis of what Dr. King taught. Why does nobody remember this?

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        I’m pretty sure Black folks are well aware of how well angry White folks can fuck their shit up.

        Maybe if Black folks just sit quietly for a few more decades, we may get around to not fucking their shit up on a regular basis.

        There is not an entirely incorrect school of thought that would suggest Malcolm X was as much of mover of civil rights forward as was MLK, and it is not a difficult point to argue that without Malcolm, MLK doesn’t exist as the influential presence he was. MLK was much easier for White folks to like when compared to the scary Black man.

        I would also note that White folks would have considered Black folks to be “fucking some shit up” when marching from Montgomery to Selma in 1965.

      • Anse says:

        TT, your sentiment about the Black Lives Matter movement would not apply to any other group that had legitimate grievances. This is the problem. A lot of whites simply do not accept that their grievances are legitimate. Hence the movement.

        You want to just live and let live because this is the only life we’ve got? I sure wish more American troops would think that way before shipping off to pointless wars that have no end.

      • objv says:

        Homer, I’d urge you to read Malcolm Gladwell’s book “David and Goliath.” Tracy made a good point regarding MLK. Gladwell devoted a chapter describing how smart MLK was in manipulating the media to garner sympathy from white folk. MLK understood that most white people would react with compassion if they were shown injustice and violence against black people.

        Unfortunately, when the news is filled with footage of African-Americans looting and rioting, stereotypes of blacks being violent are reinforced.

        The horrific shooting of the members of the Bible study garnered sympathy across racial and political lines. There were no riots, but laws were changed and Confederate flags came down.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Obj…with all due respect, that is a bit of BS.

        I’m not sure folks should have to wait for Black folks to be gunned down in a church in order to get the confederate flag taken down off the state’s capital.

        If you think Black folks protesting in Ferguson reinforced stereotypes about Black folks being violent, you already had those stereotypes happily rolling around in your head, and yet, the good ol’ White boys in Ohio burning a car and rioting when Ohio State wins a football doesn’t reinforce a stereotype that White folks are violent and stupid.

        White folks shoot up a movie theater and a church, and yet that doesn’t reinforce the stereotype that White folks are violent. I wonder why that is.

        MLK certainly was a very capable manipulator of the media, but that does not detract from the influence of Malcolm X at the time.

        Waiting for the sympathy of White folks so that Black folks get a fair shake in this country is BS.

    • objv says:

      Tracy, small world indeed. I just saw some photos posted by a friend showing her son getting his wings of gold at a ceremony in Pensacola last Friday.

  18. karl victor says:

    I spent my HS years working at the first black owned McDonald’s franchise in Houston (MLK @ 610 loop So,) . I have a very unique prospective on the role of the police and who qualifies as a criminal. I was really insulted by that DA’s comment because she had no idea what motivated this future dead man to commit murder. She also never stated that he should not have access to a gun… with his resume. Stating that we are in a A war with the police is irresponsible from a elected official who is responsible for keeping all Harris country residents safe.

    • flypusher says:

      It may turn out that this murderer was warring on cops. It’s certainly the simplest explanation in these times. But it’s not responsible for the Sheriff or the DA the make those assumptions in public without evidence. If you don’t know yet, that what you should say.

      • flypusher says:

        Just saw on the abc13 website that the DA is declining to comment on motive. Good call.

      • goplifer says:

        That may be the case. It still says nothing about the movement by minorities to gain equal access to justice.

      • flypusher says:

        I couldn’t agree more Chris, but I don’t like public officials throwing any unnecessary red meat to the binary thinkers. Someone could find that this scumbag posted an online manifesto about how all cops should die or Black people are justified in gunning down White people as payback. That wouldn’t make one molecule of difference as to whether other cops in other cities in other circumstances used unjustified deadly force against Black citizens. But too many people would use it as an excuse to resist reform.

  19. Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

    As if on cue…our friends at Fox come out with this today:

    “Kevin, why has the black lives movement—the black lives matter movement—not been classified yet as a hate group? I mean how much more has to go in this direction before someone actually labels it as such?”

    This is why we cannot have nice things.

  20. 1mime says:

    There is no doubt in my mind that Black people are treated differently in a myriad of ways. Black people experience more unprovoked police harassment and brutality followed by certain imprisonment. Then there are those who exacerbate the problem with thei open vitriol and bigotry. We all hoped election of a Black president would hallmark symbolic progress in racial understanding. Instead, the floodgates of hate and vilification have opened wide and become much more unrestrained. These negative feelings have always been there, but now they are ramped up to hyperbolic levels which defy logic and common sense – not to mention human decency. People are being hurt. People are dying. Innocent people are spending lives in jails for the crime of simply being Black.

    There are some hopeful initiatives working at the local level. One is found in Houston, TX, called: Teens and Police Service Academy, or TAPS. It brings police together with at-risk youth to open up dialogue and encourage more responsible behavior while building trust and engaging the larger community in the process….family, schools, churches, Big Brother/Big Sister, YMCA, Parks and Recreation, etc.

    http://www.tapsacademy.org/

    This is a great example of a local effort that is working one kid at a time by building trust within communities It needs to be replicated wherever it will have the kind of support and commitment from all the critical parties to be effective. The principle is simple: identify at-risk youth early; intervene with specially trained and selected law enforcement (including retired officers) and appropriate community members, involve those in the teen’s neighborhood environment, and offer positive avenues to a safer, less violent, more hopeful and secure future. Doubtless there are other similar successful initiatives which deserve our financial support and resources. These should be expanded as possible with the goal always to re-direct lives into more constructive channels.

    Programs like this are a powerful tool to complement any major initiative to reduce gun violence – by starting with the individual and offering hope for a life that doesn’t require violence for relevance. Guns are a deadly tool. The real solution to gun violence is to change our culture of violence. Until we get there, we have programs like TAPS, and we work for regulatory changes – Anything that will reduce gun proliferation and violence.

  21. E says:

    This was beautifully written. Thank you.

  22. Shiro17 says:

    So what exactly are some things that we can do to improve the situation and de-escalate the high tensions?

    One of the things that I think we can do, which seems common sense to me, is make sure that the local prosecutors aren’t the ones trying to come up with the cases against the police officers. It seems apparent that there is a conflict of interest there that is at least exacerbating the situation if not one of the root causes. Prosecutors and the police are constantly working together on everything, and it makes perfect sense that they are either really good friends or, at the very least, the prosecutors don’t want to get the police mad at them. That isn’t a bad thing since their entire jobs are intrinsically linked together in order to ensure that justice is done. But, it can lead to situations where they’re going to “look out” for each other. See, e.g. the many articles on how the prosecutor in the Michael Brown case handled the grand jury proceeding.

  23. way2gosassy says:

    Thanks! I’m so proud to know that understanding, empathy and compassion still exists in this country and that it is expressed in honesty.

  24. Anse says:

    Do the people who’ve taken up the “all lives matter” meme really believe that’s true? Because I have a suspicion that they don’t actually believe that.

    • Griffin says:

      No they are just contrarion assholes. Well in the case of your more typical far-right new aggregators like Breitbart they’re just doing what they usually do, try to make white people scared and angry with black people.

      A lot of the others posting “ALM” on the internet are just angry kids/internet contrarions who want to rebel against society and to do so embrace a combination of fringe movements such as Men’s Rights Activism, white nationalism, conspiracy theories, etc. Those people are always out en masse over stuff like this.

  25. flypusher says:

    “Those who suffer from Deputy Goforth’s death can expect one critical consolation that has eluded many black victims of police violence. They will have access to justice. There will be no riots in the streets over his death, no tense protests. There will be no need for the President to speak on the matter. Why? Because in the Goforth case, the system will do what it ought to do for everyone.”

    That sums it up right there, but that point is lost on too many people.

    • Anse says:

      My FB feed is filled with “See?? We don’t riot!!” I’m trying to decide if it’s too early to post a retort: White people don’t riot when tragedy happens, only when their team wins the national championship.

      • flypusher says:

        I’m reminded of the old saying: it is all too easy for the man standing in the sunshine to preach to the man in the shade.

        Anybody who really thinks that this murder invalidates the outrage over what happened to Rice, Gray, Scott, etc., has a severe deficit in critical thinking skills. Same with anyone who would consider this murder as some sort of payback.

    • 1mime says:

      Amen, Fly.

  26. Pseudoperson Randomian says:

    You know. I’m beginning to think trump winning Republican nomination, and his continued extreme nationalist/white identity rhetoric (yes, yes, many other policies, many flip-flops but this is one of his core messages he’s sending) running against the democrats – followed by a MASSIVE loss to the dems would be better for the GOP in the long run.

    It’ll force the GOP to reconsider platform or to split and will ultimately benefit reformers like you.

    I dunno. I like focus points of Bernie Sander’s campaign but I’d rather see more economically rightist solutions. A German/French healthcare system, rather than a British/Canadian one, for example. National basic income, rather than another big messy welfare system. Creating climate goals and letting things work out rather than direct regulation etc. etc.

    I’d bet there are quite a lot of voters who would happily switch over to the GOP if that was the real message…

  27. stephen says:

    Thanks for the post lifer. You know this makes you a RINO. I have been labeled for years with that term. Anyone who wants to be pragmatic , is fact based and rejects white nationalism is marked that way by the fringed of our party. There still are moderate to progressive Republicans. Even conservative ones who are not racist and are practical.But we tend to get drowned out by our nutty right fringe. There are sane Republican voices and you are one of them.

    • Pseudoperson Randomian says:

      The funny thing is, I’ve talked to other people about ideas and solutions either exactly like, or similar to the those on this blog and people genuinely think they’re reasonable rational ideas…until, that is, I tell them they’re from a Republican blog, at which point, answers range from RINO to suspicion/hostility.

      It’s unfortunate that the term progressive Republican, for example has become an oxymoron

  28. Rob Ambrose says:

    Thank goodness that climate change stuff is a hoax or the ppl in Hawaii might be worried right now.

    If those three category 4 hurricanes that all just showed up in the Pacific were real, they might be in real trouble

    http://www.sciencealert.com/three-category-4-hurricanes-have-just-hit-in-pacific-ocean-at-the-same-time

  29. Turtles Run says:

    “Until we live in a country where the lives of Americans like Tamir Rice and John Crawford and Eric Garner actually matter as much to the justice system as the life of Darren Goforth, then “all lives matter” will continue to be a couched insult, an obstacle to our aspiration of ensuring justice for all.”

    Those that disparage the BLM movement like to pretend that these protestors mean “Only Black Lives Matter” when they are protesting. We here it in the comments they make. If we stop discussing race then there would be no racial issues. Because ignoring the obvious is easy, dealing with it requires some hard truths. Truths that will make a lot of people uncomfortable and knock them off their moral high hypocritical horse.

    Tamir Rice was shot and killed by police last November. It was not till June of this year did the Sherrif’s department investigation conclude and issue its findings. Two things stood out:

    1. This investigation report has been handed off to the Prosecutor’s office that will after reviewing the Sherrif’s report and evidence will decide if further investigation is warranted.

    After months of investigation into an incident caught on video that transpired for less than a few seconds, the criminal justice system may need a few more months to investigate. But more shockingly

    2. The officers involved with the shooting have yet to be interviewed.

    Can anyone here imagine and person suspected of shooting a police officer being extended such generous treatment?

    All Lives Matter is like the old Farm Animal saying. All Lives Matter but some lives matter more. .

  30. Sir Magpie De Crow says:

    All I want to say about this issue is I don’t want to live in a country where protesting peacefully or verbally against local law enforcement violence/abuses is verboten… but protesting against capital gains taxes, gay wedding cakes, sensible gun control or Jade Helm (or any other black helicopter fantasy) is considered the true measure of a citizen’s commitment to ‘Merica & freedom.

    I have nothing bad to say against activists who want to make sure that law enforcement abuses (like the ones in the article below) are properly investigated and guilty parties are held to account.

    If you are conservative and you like law and order, then you need to understand that letting cops run through impoverished neighborhoods like a coked-up/roid ragin’ Blackwater goon in Iraq is going to get you an opposite result.

    http://www.rawstory.com/2015/08/stop-fcking-crying-mass-cops-hold-naked-woman-and-kids-at-gunpoint-after-raiding-wrong-apartment/comments/

    http://www.telegram.com/article/20150821/NEWS/150829750

    • Turtles Run says:

      or in this case a police officer pulled a man over for making direct eye contact for to long of a period.

      http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/30/us/eye-contact-traffic-stop-ohio-police-officer/index.html

    • flypusher says:

      I hope that lady sues and wins. The cops need to do more homework before they go kicking people’s doors in.

    • Pseudoperson Randomian says:

      I genuinely think that SWAT and other paramilitary forces and all the giant amounts of military gear need to be disconnected from regular police work – and placed under different administrative control with no privileges unless specifically called for by the police, along with a proper investigation about why that was needed.

      Just a random thought. When a soldier kills someone designated as an enemy, he has done his job. If a police officer kills a civilian, even if that civilian is a murderer/rapist/other heinous criminal, it is a failure. Ideally, ALL criminals should be brought before court, given a fair trial and removed from society by imprisoning them if it’s decided they’re unfit for society…

  31. texan5142 says:

    The stupid (Tucker Carlson types) will never understand.

  32. 1mime says:

    Nailed it, Lifer.

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