724 Comments

Thank you, Professor Richardson.

A mention is due for those citizens who served on the jury in this trial. Those twelve were charged with doing the work of weighing the evidence, and ultimately deciding if Derek Chauvin should be found guilty of taking the life of George Floyd, and if so, spending the rest of his life behind bars.

They were working on behalf of all of us, making real the promise of equal justice under law. They did their duty with the knowledge that one day, when the judge determines it safe to do so, their names would be made public. That is no small thing in a society as divided as ours.

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They were indeed working on behalf of all of us! The jury was even working on behalf of those who disagree with the verdict.

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Huge thanks are due those folks. Can't imagine the pressure or fear they might have felt/are feeling. I'm personally grateful beyond belief knowing that my home town won't burn to the ground today. Also grateful that a teenager and her 9 year old cousin were brave enough to step forward and testify. Deep debt of gratitude we owe them.

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Thank you for remembering Darnella Frazier's courage and presence of mind. I am hoping she will win a Pulitzer Prize this year for what she did. Because without her...

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At least to date, Darnella Frazier was righteously presented with the PEN/Benenson Courage Award.

https://pen.org/user/darnella-frazier/

And funds have been set up for her college and healing.

https://www.gofundme.com/f/darnella-frazier039s-hbcu-scholarship-fund

https://www.gofundme.com/f/peace-and-healing-for-darnella

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So grateful to read this, Ellie. I learned, yesterday, about the funding for Darnella Frazier. I have a feeling that her name is going to resonate in American history-like Rosa Parks. We have Steve Jobs to thank, too. ;)❤️🤍💙

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Frazier and Zapruder. History captured on film for the world to see.

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Hmmm. I forgot about that haunting film footage.

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Thank you for this important information. I’m a member of PEN but didn’t get that news, strangely.

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George Floyd was killed on my mother's birthday. When I saw the video, I said the same thing - she deserves a Pulitzer Prize. One of the most important documents in our nation's history. (I couldn't bear to watch it again, nor to watch the trial, except for the closing arguments and the verdict.)

Will never forget how he called for his dead mother under the knee of Chauvin.

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Good idea ❤️🤍💙

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These two sentences: “May her extraordinary act of bearing witness bring peace to Ms. Frazier.

“Rest in power, Mr. Floyd.”

I’m in tears. Thank you.

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Yes. Thank you Heather for acknowledging Ms Frazier and our collective prayers for George Floyd.

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I have been in tears, of hope, a lot of the time since those three guilty verdicts became reality.

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Tears flow freely today.

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In an excellent opinion piece for the Guardian, rapper Killer Mike made a telling observation among his other excellent comments. He said, "Anybody can do the right thing after the wrong thing has happened. Anybody can punish individuals after the fact. But what does that do for the next victim? What does that do for the next Black family in America who will lose their child or father or mother to martyrdom and does not know it yet? Legal actions that don’t change the mechanics of the system are empty concessions to disguise what those mechanics are all about...

... We have to change the culture of policing itself, to save the _next_ life. We have to end qualified immunity."

Read the whole article here: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/apr/20/george-floyd-derek-chauvin-killer-mike-police

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I like Michael Render’s adaptation of the preface to the book “Above the Law: How ‘Qualified Immunity Protects Violent Police Action’”

Killer Mike’s recommendation,

Plot, Plan, Strategize, Organize, and Mobilize

Plot on your own how you see the world should be, Plan out how that might happen, Strategize with others in your community, Organize with those others with whom you find community, and finally Mobilize together to struggle to make things right. And in that struggle you find “solidarity with other human beings- and that is something no evil can take from us.”

“It is not as lonely when you understand you ain’t alone.”

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Plot, Plan, Strategize, Organize, and Mobilize:

the formula for our taking action on all issues--climate change, racial justice, voter protection, gun laws...

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Great read, Gary. Qualified Immunity has got to go!

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It was seriously weakened in the recent MA police reform bill; then Gov Baker weakened the weakening before signing. Still, some progress is better than none.

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Another remarkable aspect of the Chauvin trial was the crack in The Blue Wall; fellow police officers, including and especially the chief, testified for the prosecution.

As Trevor Noah asked in an oral essay on The Daily Show, where are the good apples? We've heard all about the bad apples, but several Minneapolis cops stood by as Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd. Aren't they culpable? Why didn't they try to stop Chauvin or at least speak up or make their own videos with their cell phones? Trevor Noah concluded that's because the whole tree is rotten. There are no good apples; The Blue Wall. Maybe he can be proven wrong. Maybe now the good apples will be encouraged to step up and let it be known that bad cops can no longer rely on The Blue Wall to cover Gestapo tactics against citizens.

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I remember being a youngster when my sister and I watched the movie Serpico in Germany with German subtitles. Thank goodness they didn’t dub it. She was shocked. I was shocked. We were naïve babies. Basically in Frank Serpico‘s day the entire NYPD was corrupt. Frank was ostracized and shunned for being honest. He didn’t take money from drug dealers or criminals while all the other cops did. The question is, is The Blue Wall a racist and sexist and criminal and corrupt outpost of the Old Order? A living breathing KKK? I have a cousin who was like a brother who is a cop. No one even talks to him anymore from our side of the family. He used to complain to me about all the racism directed at him, because he has a German mother (my maternal aunt) and a Fiji Indian father. He was passed over for promotion and had to leave the department to advance his career. He was hired as head of police for a town in the Bay Area. Anyway my personal experience with the police does not suggest that they are the most advanced souls in society.

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Let's consider that if a Federal law setting higher standards for police work can actually be passed and begin to be enforced that it might draw people are more highly qualified people into police work. This would also work in tandem with the social services that are really needed most of the time instead of police with guns trying to solve problems they are not qualified to do; this kind of teamwork would actually make all of us safer including the police.

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They could also be paid as the professionals they are and not as thugs. This would attract high minded young people.

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A discussion of this on NPR this morning suggested that, because all law enforcement except the FBI and the Secret Service are local and state-run and fused, it will be difficult without a buy-in from state legislatures and local authorities to adhere to the mandates in the George Floyd bill for anything to change. This is worrying but not beyond redemption.

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state run and funded. We need an edit function!!

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Actually, I think "fused" works equally well!

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I know Ally House has a career in law-enforcement, and I’m not trying to be critical of individual service workers, especially the ones that don’t deserve criticism. They are victimized by a broken system as well. I think it’s the system that is getting attention here. Cultural environment is very difficult to fight. In Germany an entire country got caught up in racism and warike expansionism. It’s a lot harder to fight the system than it is to go along with the system, so it’s the system that has to be fixed. Then everybody wins.

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Thanks, Roland. There's another person (Frank, I think) who is former FBI here as well.

I think that a National Standard for Law Enforcement is long, long overdue. One of the issues is that municipal police agencies (city cops) range in size from NYPD, LAPD, or any of the larger cities that may have more sworn officers that the entire state of Oregon (my Google search turns up that in 2008 Oregon had 6,695 sworn officers, and yes, I was one of them then) while LAPD had 9.846 as the (then) third largest police agency. For county agencies, Texas has 254 counties (each a separate jurisdiction) while Oregon has 36. I have done a smattering of Academy training, and know that most of the larger agencies in the state (Portland Police Bureau, City of Eugene, City of Salem) all require additional training in an Academy setting because the State Academy has to teach for the lowest common denominator (Coburg PD has 4 cops, including the chief, I believe.)

There is a move afoot in Oregon to certify only college graduates as LEOs; a move which is not very popular among most cops. I think it is a start. Better pay would attract more applicants as well. Your comment regarding the cultural environment is spot on. Eugene's sister city of Springfield is a stellar example of that (currently, the Chief is on administrative leave while the certification agency (DPSST) reviews whether he submitted an untruthful document concerning the termination of a female officer who had been engaged in "romantic relationships" with several department members, including a sergeant.) That particular agency has a definite and well-earned reputation for having two "standards"; one for the "in" group, and another for the "rest" of them.

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Look at what is required of an elementary school teacher before they are unleashed in a classroom. Why aren't police held to a similar or, given that they have the use of lethal force, higher standards of training? Or police need to be better trained and de-militarized.

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When I was certified as a police officer in 1987 (after being certified as a corrections officer in 1985) we had 8 weeks of training at the police academy, plus about a month with a "training officer". In 1998 my department adopted a "Field Training and Evaluation Program" (FTEP) that was 15 weeks long, with a 5 week rotation (phase) of three different "coaches" followed by a "shadow phase" where the freshly minted deputy would be alone in their own car, followed by their first coach in their own car, but they were dispatched to calls as if they were one officer. Sometime around 2000, academy training was extended to 16 weeks, so in theory, new cops get about 8 months of training before going out on their own. Some larger departments also require an agency specific academy that can be from 8-12 weeks long in addition.

For smaller agencies, often the only training they get is a few weeks with a single coach, and the academy program required for certification.

I'd love to see a minimum 2 year specific study degree requirement; I know there are agencies that require a 4 year degree (Portland PB is one; they are NOT the gold standard of law enforcement...)

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Wow Ally your training is amazing. AMAZING. When I started truck driving in 1998, I went along with another experienced driver for two days and then they just threw me the keys. So dangerous. I never had any training on doubles, which is a tractor pulling two 28 foot trailers which are connected by a doubles dolly. I think back on that now and I cringe. I can’t tell you how surprised and pleased I am about the training that you received. I don’t know what I’m talking about, no knowledge or experience whatsoever in law enforcement, but something tells me that if every officer in the country had your training, the Derek Chauvin-style cop murders and other issues and incidents drop drastically.

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Hi Ally:

Wow, national standards for police, there is a tall order. I can imagine certain overriding criteria and certainly believe that universal training standards are sorely needed. Requiring a four year degree seems excessive and even a bit discriminatory as the police need to better reflect the community they serve.

I think that better initial training and regular re-training which includes better citizen interaction, de-escalation, communication and very very specific use of force criteria would help. The problem is providing this on a national basis with proper consistency and follow up.

A more immediate need, in my opinion, are local and regional independent review commissions consisting of both police and citizens with the authority to evaluate specific incidents as well as overall performance and make changes to procedures and insure accountability. That would be a great start as the task is enormous.

My real wish, of course, is to have a long term, systematic disarming of both the police and the citizenry. Unrealistic of course but what a better world it would be. I can always dream.

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I hear what you're saying, Frank. I tend to agree with the education requirement of a 4 year degree being discriminatory, especially today when the cost of tuition is prohibitive for most ordinary folks. There is a lot to be said for the value of life experience instead of education as well. There is such a difference in what is needed for training for different types of agencies that we have in the US. A State Patrol primarily responsible for traffic enforcement, weights and measures enforcement, and interstate activities has much different needs that does the beat cop in a city of 10K people or that of a rural sheriff's deputy who may patrol an area with more cattle or wildlife than people.

Your pinpointing the immediate need for local/regional independent review commissions and the better initial training and ongoing training is spot on. I know that training has evolved on our local level, both as I described with my initial post here and to the depth and scope of scenario training and communication techniques and tactics. I also know that smaller agencies do not have the ability to do much beyond what is required to retain certification.

Law enforcement is one of the areas that could benefit greatly from a mandatory requirement for service (my current ideas are for a choice of military service, peace corps, or a CCC type of agency that can teach trade-type skills and provide for infrastructure repair and creation.)

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So, seriously Ally any ideas on how we can get traction on Mandatory Public Service with so many other issues in the news. Even though, I’m convinced that it would mitigate many of the other issues.

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Thanks for your thoughts. Oh and you brought up one of my favorite topics over the years. Mandatory public service. What a difference it would make in the maturity of our young people, reduction of crime and drug use, help with homelessness and on and on. Thanks for bringing that up.

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I love that dream. I have always had that dream as well. I have dreamt of all guns mysteriously melting one day. All of them.

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TPJ would too I imagine.

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Yes, Ally and Frank, on higher education and experience requirements for law enforcement recruits.

When people are involved in multiple court systems, I explain the differences in authority as like a traffic light.

1) At the top is the criminal court system. Police officers, with a gun on their hip, investigate public safety, and someone could go to jail (or end up dead).

2) In the middle is the dependency court system. Social workers investigate child safety, and a judge makes orders for counseling to fix the problem in the family.

3) At the bottom is the family law court system. Child custody evaluators investigate the best interest of the child, and a judge makes orders for each parent’s legal and physical custody of the child.

What I keep to myself but what needs attention is the inverse correlation between the investigators’ power and the level of education required for them to do their job.

1) In Los Angeles County, the main agencies, LAPD and the County Sheriff’s Department, only require a high school diploma or equivalent for officer recruits.

2) Child protective services requires a bachelor’s degree for social workers.

3) Child custody evaluators primarily hold a PhD, but minimally a Master's degree.

The professionals with the least amount of education have the most power—to the level of instantaneous life and death decision-making. That is upside down and wrong.

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Your mention of Coburg, Eugene and Springfield brings back memories. It’s been a very long time but I used to deliver health food up there, like Sundance. The only thing I remember about Coburg is that it had a truck stop where we used to fuel up.

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I used to work at Humble Bagel, right next to Sundance.

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The point here is that rigid structure, rigid systems, are anachronistic. They are the hallmarks of the Age of Pisces, the old age now ending. The new age is the age of Aquarius, a 2000 year epoch, an era of liberation, freedom, play and joy. I guess that makes me and all of us here part of the New Age.

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I’m back at the warehouse and fueling up my tractor, and a supervisor walks by the fuel islands and jokingly calls me a hippie. I guess this contribution today on HCR would not have been complete without that unsolicited comment from the peanut gallery named Esteban. So here’s what I have to say to Esteban, and to all of you: I may be a hippie, but I am the proudest hippie of Nazi German heritage that you will ever meet. Just keep that in mind the next time you’re stereotyping hippies.

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I am a proud hippie!

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Reefer Gladness?!

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Ditto.

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Let your freak flag wave, Roland :)

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I’m just grateful for the light that shines forth from you whatever flag you fly 🌞

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Why thank you Christy that’s awfully sweet of you

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And this morning we hear about a 16 year old girl who was killed by a cop last night. The details are sketchy but her family is saying that she was defending her house from a home invasion by brandishing a knife and the cop shot her. Because, y'know, a terrified 16 year old girl is a monstrous menace to an armed and kevlar-wearing policeman.

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I watched the complete body cam video from start to finish last night. Columbus took it down. The details are not sketchy. The police arrived and the "fracus" spilled out of the Garage from behind cars in the driveway, the fracas was thrust upon the arriving officer. People fell in front of him in a struggle but it doesnt appear life or death. The yard and driveway are crowded...with people. Officer fires 4 quick shots killing the girl.

The after videos are what is truly disturbing. People crying, family grieving but from behind the yellow tapes cops are smiling, smirking, and saying "blue lives matter".

Here's report from Columbus tv station news:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wkfbck5SjQA

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The victim was the one who called the police. Yet another tragedy that leaves Blacks unwilling to seek LE involvement.

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According to 2 of the "reports" I read, it was a foster home where she was living. Her mother and her aunt were both interviewed. I kind of feel theres more to this story, as usual. And if what MaryPat read or heard - another case of the victim calling the police? If so that seems to be happening more & more.

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One report said it was she who called the police.

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It posted my comment twice and when I deleted one they both went! Shoot! Oh well! Maybe I’ll try again later.

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Next time try to remember to copy one of the comments before deleting either, so you can just paste it when you start again. Substack is quirky in many regards, including this one.

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That has happened to me a few times - I just leave it be and it seems to disappear. If it doesn't, we have the pleasure of reading your words twice!

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"Lipstick on a pig..."

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My understanding was that at least two of the other LEO's with Chauvin were trainees, that Chavin was "teaching" them. It was a matter of challenging the teacher who was showing the way suppressing is done. Let that sink in, he was a field-training officer. He was supervising at least two of the rookie officers involved in Mr. Floyd's arrest. This is what they were being taught. This is a powerful way of turning "good apples" into "bad apples."

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And remember that the (former) police officer who shot Daunte Wright "by accident" was a Field Training Officer as well.

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These training officers are thinking only of how they look to their trainees, ( selfish optics of strength and authority)versus doing what’s ethically and morally right by the suspect.

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Apparently the DA is going to be charging the other 4 officers who aided and abetted Chauvin.

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Institutionalized Racism.

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One of the trainees asked twice if they should turn George Floyd over and Chauvin said no.

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The Minneapolis PD press release cited by HCR, written by someone named John Elder and posted about an unnamed suspect the day after George Floyd was killed, was a total PR whitewashed spin to nip in the bud pesky questions about what really happened. Minneapolis Chief of Police Medaria Arradondo did seem genuine in his statements among the crowd on June 1, 2020 as an emotional CNN reporter Sara Sidner held up her phone for him to speak with the Floyd family. When Darnella Frazier's video became public, Chief Arradondo, a professional gatherer of evidence for criminal prosecution, had an easy decision to make--put up a firewall between him and Derek Chauvin. And he testified against Chauvin.

Police officers generally do have a "hero complex" and work to "do the right thing," but self interest when caught red-handed is another motivation, still to be weighed against prospective reprisals for breaking the code of the Blue Wall.

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Sadly, I think that the crack in the Blue Wall is largely mythological. By testifying against him, Chauvin's fellow officers were implying that his actions were aberrant rather than common practice in policing. This reinforces rather than challenges the bad apple way of thinking.

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Even if they are far too common, they were still not correct or acceptable so I think aberrant still applies Reid. I think the video showing that Chauvin’s behaviors deviated from written policies essentially would have made it very difficult for administration to support him. I think the difference is the video. None of them could lie. The discrepancy from initial police report and the reality seen on video really tells us what we need to know about how they have been getting away with murder. Our epidemic of lying is so out of control and so insidiously destructive. The lying and the coverup of the lying are like the putrid food for the racists to reproduce and multiply.

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Lying! Lying has become a political art form in the last six years. Lying has become an accepted form of journalism. Lying seems to be the main dish served at dinner. The shame of lying no longer carries any weight. Is our only way of showing a lie is to have it captured on a cell phone now? Thank God President Biden tries his very best to be a man of integrity. Including the people he has chosen to work with him. Unlike those Republicans that come out with a new “flavor” of a lie every week! We must never stop our work for “the good.”

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Yes, and the resurrecting of the Fair Doctrine Act requiring equal time by the press given to both sides of an issue.

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Unless, as I understand it, they are NOT registered as "news" organization but merely as "entertainment" (Fox). Loophole....

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But the lying and the coverups continue. I fear that Chauvin will be used as an excuse to say that the problem has been handled. I would love to be proved wrong. Meanwhile, the extrajudicial killings of POC continue unabated and, likely, unprosecuted.

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This closes just one chapter in the George Floyd tragedy. The other officers go on trial this summer. Lengthy sentences for them are less likely, though I am hopeful.

As for Chauvin, he should receive long sentences -- consecutive, not concurrent.

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Hard to read this judge (which overall is probably not a bad thing), but he seems inclined to make an example of him. 40 years or so, I would guess.

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True, Reid. This trial and aftermath is a very long steeplechase with many hurdles to cross. First this verdict; appeals; possible mistrial motions; sentencing; trials of other officers; their appeals; etc, etc. Any missteps that deny justice are fraught with peril.

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Interesting perspective. Since the Rodney King incident didn't change how law enforcement does business, I can only hope that George Floyd's legacy is that it is the catalyst for change.

Not holding my breath....

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Two things can be true at the same time. Police departments can have bad apples. Police departments can be a reflection of society's racist attitudes and behaviors above and below the surface.

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There are three co-conspirators in this incident; the three cops who stood by and did nothing to prevent Floyd's death by intervening in a use of force that was so clearly outside their training protocols. There is a precedent for a "duty to intervene" that is in US Code 42 Section 1983.

https://nahmodlaw.com/2020/06/25/the-george-floyd-case-and-section-1983-a-police-officers-constitutional-duty-to-intervene/

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Ally, did you see where the female police officer in Buffalo NY, finally, after 15? years got exonerated for "interfering" with another officer who was choking a suspect? She lost her job AND her pension until just recently! I'm thinking that the "duty to intervene" needs to be taught with more emphasis, right?

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I did. She was Black, and terminated unjustly. It was nearly 15 years and I hope she enjoys every last penny of that.

The duty to intervene is something that I always taught, and always used a training officer using excessive or unreasonable force as the example.

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I figured you would be aware. I'm glad she finally got some of what she deserved, but boy, there was so much that she didnt deserve.

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Three Trainees. I'm bracing for the " I was just following orders" defense. We need to recognize that almost every person is capable of committing these tragedies and that is how we can begin to fix it.

Obedience -Stanley Milgram, https://www.simplypsychology.org/milgram.html

"The Banality of Evil" -Hannah Arendt

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The Nuremburg trials slew the "following orders" defense. It is illegal for police and military to obey unlawful orders.

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Sadly there is still a difference between what happens in the real world and what gets documented as evidence for a prosecution.

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I suspect that MPD "culture" is that the training officer is God. I know he wasn't training all three of them at once, so at least two are not his trainees. US Code 42 Section 1983 clearly articulates a "duty to intervene".

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I could be wrong, as it's been almost a year, but I think I heard that one of the rookies asked Chauvin to turn Floyd over, but he ignored the request. That excuses nothing, but I can imagine that Chauvin could make it difficult for a subordinate to have much effect, since he's clearly a hostile monster.

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I’m curious how others feel about the one trainee who asked twice if they should turn Mr Floyd over—should he be shown any leniency in sentencing? If only he had stood up and said ENOUGH.

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Depends on the jury. Therefore I think all three are going to go fir a plea deal.

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My husband agrees with you.

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Excellent commentary by Trevor Noah. Chris Rock did a brilliant spin on the bad apple theory in his last concert film. ❤️🤍💙

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Point of fact, only one stood by. Two of them were kneeling on George Floyd's legs, trying to hold them down even as he was having seizures near the very end of his life. A third did "crowd and traffic control." The witnesses on the sidewalk resembled a church choir more than a mob. These officers will be tried in August.

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"These officers will be tried in August."

I would say their trial is done with verdict delivered.

I predict a guilty plea and begging for a break at sentencing.

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The "good apples" were those who broke the blue wall of silence and "told it like it is. That took courage and the desire to see truth and justice prevail. May they prevail.

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I fear it was only because of the video taken by Darnella Frazier. The Blue Wall is pretty solid.

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But the crack is there and cell phones are everywhere.

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I was a use of force instructor when the Rodney King incident occurred (I was, for about 10 years, a certified instructor trainer in the use of the PR-24). Two training tips I always delivered: Assume that someone is video recording every interaction you take, and that your grandmother is listening to the words you use in your professional interactions.

That incident did not teach law enforcement the lesson it needed to learn. That much is painfully obvious based on all the videos capturing the awful conduct that is still occurring.

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Yes to grandmotherly sanctions -- a powerful deterrent!

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Ally, do you know Jui Jitsu? The two really good cops I know are both practice Jui Jitsu. They have this constant state of self awareness and supreme quiet self confidence but not over confident. I think comes from both the physical and mental/psychological training of Jui Jitsu. Policing is hard, it takes the right person for the job and continual training and support. NO one likes to admit weakness or vulnerability, especially the police. They need our help as much as our criticism.

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I haven't trained in a martial arts discipline, but Jui Jitsu is foundational for many of the control holds employed by police. My nephew studied Jui Jitsu growing up, and we'd often time trade training and new moves we'd learned. When he was about 12 (and ready to age out of youth classes) he told me "Aunt Ally, when I train, I have to get the forms right in order to win. You have to win, regardless of the forms. I respect what you do."

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What concerns me is that apparently there is no internal "someone video recording" interactions for too many people (not just police officers). By internal, I mean a conscience, an internal monitor that tells someone that what they are doing is right or wrong, that human lives (regardless of skin color, social status, gender identity, mental state, etc) have value.

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Last evening ABC's Steve Osunsami was reporting, and he's usually pretty poker-faced. However, he reached into his pocket and brought out his cell phone, and commented that "everyone has one of these," and his remark was fairly emotional and pointed out that this one item could be a game changer from now on.

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One commentator last night (CNN? MSNBC? CBS? A wonderful blur) called Chauvin's trial A Win for Cops, most of whom are good cops, who have hated cops like Chauvin who they, via "fraternal orders" are not allowed to report, much less testify against. This verdict sends a strong signal to every police union across the country thst the jig is up.

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Those officers will get what they deserve in a couple of months. What’s more important in my mind is the cracking of the blue wall as many police officials, including the Chief testified against him.

This was an impressive shift from the past and perhaps is a precursor to positive change in the wind.

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Trevor Noah concluded that's because the whole tree is rotten. There are no good apples; The Blue Wall”

And day after day, all across America thousands of police officers quietly go about the business of protecting life and property. Putting their life on the line to protect yours.

As goes the saying “ If a dog bites a man, it’s not news. If a man bites a dog it is”

The heroes seldom make the front page, mostly it’s the villains.

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Whose lives and property?? Different strokes for different folks.

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Yours, among millions of others.

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Yes, mine, because I'm white.

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What will give them the courage to speak up? The good apples need to speak up!

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Their courage will come with this verdict's clear message to police unions - We support Black Lives Matter. We all have cell phones with cameras. Most cops are good apples. You can't suppress their voices anymore.

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Why were the other officers present not charged? Their refusal to take action to stop Chauvin is arguably accessory.

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"they wouldn't even have buildings there"

Think about this comment and its implications, Kurt. Also your own subjective viewpoint.

Have you ever visited Africa? Lived there? I did, for nearly two years. Denying African abilities and achievements is even older than American racism, and just as pernicious. Africans accomplish more with less than almost everyone else. They always have.

D Northrup, Seven Myths about Africa in World History

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I’m pretty sure Trevor Noah has said some good things about white people.

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A person can vote for a black candidate, and still be racist. Racism has a broad spectrum in this country and through out the world. Racism is not just violence, and overt acts of oppression. Racism pervades every corner of society in both clearly observable violent actions and by other stealthy privileges', behaviors that are not so easy to recognize or identify, and also to varying degrees and shades. Kurt, you are overgeneralizing from a perspective of your own blind privilege. Since you mention professional sports, pick up a copy of "Things That Make White People Uncomfortable" by Michael Bennet; and "Class Matters" by Bell Hooks.

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https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwi64faty4_wAhWBtJ4KHdo9BKgQwqsBMAB6BAgGEAk&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D5c0xkgX4itQ&usg=AOvVaw3UnRuK4PixMNTEDb-l4cA7. See link, where Trevor Noah praises Chris Wallace for giving “a master’s class in not letting Trump get away with his usual bullshit.” Chris Wallace is white. Oh, I see, by white you must mean Trump and Trumpists.

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LOL

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" Recall that South Africa is about to kick out the white people and without them, they wouldn't even have buildings there."

Really, Mr Davis??

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Does 1,000 years of imperialism, domination, racsism, denying eduction and health care have anything to do with a persons ability to become an engeiner to build buildings today?

"I come here this evening because of my deep interest and affection for a land settled by the Dutch in the mid-seventeenth century, then taken over by the British, and at last independent; a land in which the native inhabitants were at first subdued, but relations with whom remain a problem to this day; a land which defined itself on a hostile frontier; a land which has tamed rich natural resources through the energetic application of modern technology; a land which was once the importer of slaves, and now must struggle to wipe out the last traces of that former bondage. I refer, of course, to the United States of America." -Robert F. Kennedy, 1966

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"And most important of all, all the panoply of government power has been committed to the goal of equality before the law – as we are now committing ourselves to achievement of equal opportunity in fact.

We must recognize the full human equality of all of our people – before God, before the law, and in the councils of government. We must do this, not because it is economically advantageous – although it is; not because the laws of God command it – although they do; not because people in other lands wish it so. We must do it for the single and fundamental reason that it is the right thing to do.

We recognize that there are problems and obstacles before the fulfillment of these ideals in the United States as we recognize that other nations, in Latin America and in Asia and in Africa have their own political, economic, and social problems, their unique barriers to the elimination of injustices.

In some, there is concern that change will submerge the rights of a minority, particularly where that minority is of a different race than that of the majority. We in the United States believe in the protection of minorities; we recognize the contributions that they can make and the leadership they can provide; and we do not believe that any people – whether majority or minority, or individual human beings – are "expendable" in the cause of theory or policy. We recognize also that justice between men and nations is imperfect, and that humanity sometimes progresses very slowly indeed.

All do not develop in the same manner and at the same pace. Nations, like men, often march to the beat of different drummers, and the precise solutions of the United States can neither be dictated nor transplanted to others, and that is not our intention. What is important however is that all nations must march toward increasing freedom; toward justice for all; toward a society strong and flexible enough to meet the demands of all of its people, whatever their race, and the demands of a world of immense and dizzying change that face us all."

https://www.jfklibrary.org/learn/about-jfk/the-kennedy-family/robert-f-kennedy/robert-f-kennedy-speeches/day-of-affirmation-address-university-of-capetown-capetown-south-africa-june-6-1966

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I can't help but wonder whether we'd be in better place if the Kennedys had survived. Of course, one can say all the right things, but not act on them. We'll never know.

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I didn't read your previous comments before they were deleted, so only want to respond to this one. When I watch and listen to Trevor Noah, I'm particularly interested in his perspective as an outsider to the U.S. from a place with its own troublesome history. As he has a staff of writers working with him, I try to parse what comes from him and what may be a contribution from the predominantly American writing staff.

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In the year that I was a cop, I had one friend on the department. Charles Toussaint, old New Orleans family, Vietnam vet, articulate and my first black friend where we actually hung out together. We were seen talking on his beat when I was off-duty and the Capt. called me in and gave me a counseling letter that I should not be on a public wharf while off duty. (?) What wasn't in that letter was what he said; "Bad enough we have to work with them, we don't have to socialize with them." Lemme see, there was the sergeant who wanted me to let him in my patrol car to beat of a black guy I ran down & collared for hitting a white woman and taking her purse. I'm sure there are good cops - I was one. But good cops can't last too long in a rotten dept.

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Dont just look at the tree. What kind of forest do you see?

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The problem is not whether a cop is good or bad. Cops are people that come in every type. There are good and bad people in every population, and many in between and many that fall from good grace to unspeakable tragedy. The problem is bad Policing policy, or lack of enough good policy and training, or lack of policy that does not address what is unequal, unjust, untrained, & unlawful.

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Today was a demonstration of the power of people. Ordinary people going about their ordinary lives doing ordinary things, and when they saw something extraordinary, that they knew was wrong, they had the ability to step out of their ordinariness and do what the moment required. And they may, just maybe, have changed the world.

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"Bouquet of Humanity."

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Good morning Lynell 😘

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Morning, Roland!!

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How is my favorite Virginian doing today?

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Feeling cautiously victorious, Roland. Have to do a second read of your water/air analogy. Maybe then it'll resonate for me (I be slow sometimes)!

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I’m just saying that we are living at the beginning of a 2000 year long era in human history, which era is governed by technology based in air. In radio, they say “we are on the air.“ It’s a communication technology, mental technology, radio computer Internet social media cell phone smart phone radar sonar LiDAR microwave etc. etc. There’s nothing new here, it’s just a different perspective. It’s looking at human history from a larger scope, suggesting human history has been around for tens of thousands of years instead of just a few thousand

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Morning Lynell!! Flourishing in your garden in Virginia, no doubt.

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Kiss the Ground, TPJ, Kiss the Ground! (Hope you are feeling better) https://vimeo.com/ondemand/kisstheground/448435223

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Well, that sounds better than "Faceplant!"

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Oh, there's a story here.... kind of like a recent "involuntary dismount" of a ladder that may or may not have resulted in a prohibition of unsupervised ladder use that may or may not have occurred on my back deck while fussing with decorations.

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"Involuntary dismount" -- that's a good one! Reminds me of Vietnam-era doublespeak, like "protective reaction strike" (bombing) or "strategic withdrawal" (retreat).

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Thank you for your kind words the other day TPJ. 🙏🙏

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Kind words are a gift to givers and receivers alike.

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The horrible reality is that the police killing of George Floyd was ordinary. Accountability in this case is a step in the right direction. Many more steps are needed.

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Thank you TC 🙏🙏

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Let’s not forget the outstanding performance of the prosecutor team, which left the defense pretty much hogtied.

I would like to believe we’ve turned a sharp corner in race relations, but I remind myself of how very little has been done with gun control in the years since Sandy Hook, and my optimism is tempered by the uphill battles that remain. But admittedly, these three convictions were giant steps in the right direction.

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When the Senate is nolonger split 50:50 and filibuster is tamed something can be done.

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MN Attorney General Keith Ellison, who is African American and Muslim, did an outstanding job with his team in prosecuting Chauvin. When I heard the verdict yesterday, I burst into tears. I can’t tell you how scared I was for my home town if it had been any other outcome. But my friends of color immediately reminded me last night that three more officers need to be held accountable for standing by and watching Chauvin murder George Floyd. And while conviction on all three counts is a step in the right direction, it is just a baby step. A 16 year old African American girl was killed within moments of that conviction by a cop who shot her four times. WTF?

My neighbors are staunch Trump supporters. They remind me every day that we have a ton of work to do to erase generational racism, ignorance and the sense of fear too many white people have that the government will tax their hard earned dollars and give it away to undeserving black and brown people. Some days, I can’t even think about being neighborly with those folks. But I have to find a way to coexist. All the while working to reject voter suppression policies (3 bills in the MN Senate. Highest voter turnout in the nation generally. No evidence of fraud. Gah!) i need more coffee. Then, I will get back to work.

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I cried too. Then I began to wonder about the next trial and the jurors for that trial. Where in the world will they find another 12 people who didn't hear ALL the evidence (including the evidence that was not shared with this jury) and now know the whole story along with most of the world?

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They're out there. Humans have an amazing ability to overlook what's important. Cf. undecided voters in a campaign's last week; they never follow politics.

My view: we must be interested in politics, because politics is interested in US!

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Mim: you are correct re the uphill battles we face. Here in NH, the entire state level of government flipped red in Nov 2020. There have been multiple bills proposed to remove restrictions on gun use. One that HAS passed that guns AND knives are to be allowed in schools and that local entities like towns and school boards cannot makes rules regarding gun carry/use and can face up to $10 K in fines and damages if they do so! Other bills that have passed includes one that allows NH law enforcement to not carry out Presidential Executive Orders regarding guns; another expands Stand your Ground laws to include "protecting" your car. In essence, allows road rage incidents to be an acceptable use of guns. One that didn't was a State Constitutional Amendment to allow guns to be carried anywhere.

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Oh, dear! Absolutely going the wrong way! Inexplicable.

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Rosa Brooks, in Politico: “While the national media understandably puts a spotlight on Chauvin, we should not forget that three other Minneapolis police officers were also on the scene that day last May: Officers Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng. Their sheer passivity was, in some ways, more stunning than Chauvin’s casual cruelty.”

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There would have been a different outcome were it not for Ms. Frazier’s video. Maddow talked about that tonight too. I hope this isn’t a “one off.” I hope some things will change in law enforcement all around our Nation.

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Everyone should know something about their state laws concerning recording the police. State details vary, but most times when police say there's no right to do it, it is inaccurate. If they're deliberately inaccurate, it's lying. Ditto for being detained but without arrest. Citizens' rights are greater than the police claim they are. Know and use them.

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Thank you, TPJ. Here is an example of state law: "any person arrested but not charged may be eligible to receive a certificate describing the arrest as a detention...Once a certificate is granted, any reference to the action as an arrest shall be deleted from the arrest records of the arresting agency and of the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation for the Department of Justice. At that point any record shall refer to it as a detention."

This is particularly important for professions subject to criminal background checks, where even an arrest is a strike against the applicant. But at least the argument could be pursued that it was not an arrest, but a detention.

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Thank you too, Ellie. Two questions to ALWAYS ask when stopped by police:

-- Am I under arrest?

-- Am I free to go?

Cops routinely pretend that they have more authority, and we have less rights, than is actually the case. These questions set the boundaries.

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Here is one source for information on state laws (covering every state) that folks may find useful: https://statelaws.findlaw.com/

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Thank you.

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And could they make that illegal? How are they allowed to use body cams but a citizen not have an equal right?

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Please Consider:

Turn your celebration into ACTION!

Contact your U.S. Senators and tell them to vote YES on S 1, the For The People Act.

https://www.senate.gov/senators/senators-contact.htm

• Select "State" from the drop-down menu.

• The drop-down menu lets you select by “State” or by “Senator”

• Click on the Blue Text that says “Contact” and it will link you to the page where you can send this message.

• Copy (Ctrl C) the message, and then Paste it (Ctrl P) into the message box portion of the page.

• Don’t forget to hit “Send” or “Submit”

Use this template, or modify as needed:

As your constituent from insert your zip code here, I urge you to vote YES on S1: the For The People Act.

The For The People Act will protect voting rights that enable free and fair elections, which will strengthen our democracy.

I believe It is the responsibility of our elected officials to listen to the opinions of their constituents, and to remember their oath to the Constitution.

We must allow every citizen the opportunity to vote. Please support S 1, the For The People Act. Vote YES!

We the People, All of Us This Time!

Sincerely,

Your Name

If you prefer Lynell’s version, here it is:

Lynell(VA by way of DC)

Senator (Fill-in): I wholeheartedly support your YES vote for 117th Congress' S1 For the People Act of 2021. With your YES vote, together we can make this country truly great again," or words to this effect.

HR 1280, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021; S1, the For the People Act of 2021; HR 4, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act : https://fairfight.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Abrams-Senate-Judiciary-Testimony-4.20.2021.pdf

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Julie. Thank you. Deborah (gildedtwig@icloud.com)

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Thank goodness for Darnella Frazier and her presence of mind to record what Chauvin was doing George Floyd. Thank goodness for the police who testified and told the truth, and for the jurors, who watched and listened and delivered the 3 guilty verdicts. Thank you, Dr. Richardson for your letter. I pray and hope that this is the beginning of the end of the blue wall of silence.

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I just feel for Darnella Frazier. Recording that had to be agony for her😢. However it was key to justice being served. God bless her

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Yes, being a witness can have lifelong consequences. I thought this piece on the girl in the famous Kent State photo very moving: https://www.washingtonpost.com/magazine/2021/04/19/girl-kent-state-photo-lifelong-burden-being-national-symbol/

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Reid, thanks for sharing. That was a great piece

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Couldnt get at the Post article but heres another one - an interview with the woman that girl became.

https://www.stripes.com/news/us/the-girl-in-the-kent-state-photo-and-the-lifelong-burden-of-being-a-national-symbol-1.670452

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Thank You.

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Thank you for posting this link. The power of imagery cannot be overstated.....

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Yes. I have to wonder about the trauma those witnesses live with. They were brave and crucial to this case, but they paid a price.

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Her testimony during the trial was heart wrenching.

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Thank goodness for Darnella Frazier.

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1964

August 04

Slain civil rights workers found

The remains of three civil rights workers whose disappearance on June 21 garnered national attention are found buried in an earthen dam near Philadelphia, Mississippi. Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman, both white New Yorkers, had traveled to heavily segregated Mississippi in 1964 to help organize civil rights efforts on behalf of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). The third man, James Chaney, was a local African American man who had joined CORE in 1963. The disappearance of the three young men led to a massive FBI investigation that was code-named MIBURN, for “Mississippi Burning.”

Michael Schwerner, who arrived in Mississippi as a CORE field worker in January 1964, aroused the animosity of white supremacists after he organized a successful black boycott of a variety store in the city of Meridian and led voting registration efforts for African Americans. In May, Sam Bowers, the Imperial Wizard of the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan of Mississippi, sent word that the 24-year-old Schwerner, nicknamed “Goatee” and “Jew-Boy” by the KKK, was to be eliminated. On the evening of June 16, two dozen armed Klansmen descended on Mt. Zion Methodist Church, an African American church in Neshoba County that Schwerner had arranged to use as a “Freedom School.” Schwerner was not there at the time, but the Klansmen beat several African Americans present and then torched the church.

On June 20, Schwerner returned from a civil rights training session in Ohio with 21-year-old James Chaney and 20-year-old Andrew Goodman, a new recruit to CORE. The next day—June 21—the three went to investigate the burning of the church in Neshoba. While attempting to drive back to Meridian, they were stopped by Neshoba County Deputy Sheriff Cecil Price just inside the city limits of Philadelphia, the county seat. Price, a member of the KKK who had been looking out for Schwerner or other civil rights workers, threw them in the Neshoba County jail, allegedly under suspicion for church arson.

After seven hours in jail, during which the men were not allowed to make a phone call, Price released them on bail. After escorting them out of town, the deputy returned to Philadelphia to drop off an accompanying Philadelphia police officer. As soon as he was alone, he raced down the highway in pursuit of the three civil rights workers. He caught the men just inside county limits and loaded them into his car. Two other cars pulled up filled with Klansmen who had been alerted by Price of the capture of the CORE workers, and the three cars drove down an unmarked dirt road called Rock Cut Road. Schwerner, Goodman, and Chaney were shot to death and their bodies buried in an earthen dam a few miles from the Mt. Zion Methodist Church.

The next day, the FBI began an investigation into the disappearance of the civil rights workers. On June 23, the case drew national headlines, and federal agents found the workers’ burned station wagon. Under pressure from Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, the FBI escalated the investigation, which eventually involved more than 200 FBI agents and scores of federal troops who combed the woods and swamps looking for the bodies. The incident provided the final impetus needed for the 1964 Civil Rights Act to pass Congress on July 2, and eight days later FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover came to Mississippi to open a new Bureau office. Eventually, Delmar Dennis, a Klansman and one of the participants in the murders, was paid $30,000 and offered immunity from prosecution in exchange for information. On August 4, the remains of the three young men were found. The culprits were identified, but the state of Mississippi made no arrests.

Finally, on December 4, nineteen men, including Deputy Price, were indicted by the U.S. Justice Department for violating the civil rights of Schwerner, Goodman, and Chaney (charging the suspects with civil rights violations was the only way to give the federal government jurisdiction in the case). After nearly three years of legal wrangling, in which the U.S. Supreme Court ultimately defended the indictments, the men went on trial in Jackson, Mississippi. The trial was presided over by an ardent segregationist, U.S. District Judge William Cox, but under pressure from federal authorities and fearing impeachment, he took the case seriously. On October 27, 1967, an all-white jury found seven of the men guilty, including Price and KKK Imperial Wizard Bowers. Nine were acquitted, and the jury deadlocked on three others. The mixed verdict was hailed as a major civil rights victory, as no one in Mississippi had ever before been convicted for actions taken against a civil rights worker.

In December, Judge Cox sentenced the men to prison terms ranging from three to 10 years. After sentencing, he said, “They killed one n*****, one Jew, and a white man. I gave them what I thought they deserved.” None of the convicted men served more than six years behind bars.

On June 21, 2005, the forty-first anniversary of the three murders, Edgar Ray Killen, was found guilty of three counts of manslaughter. At eighty years of age and best known as an outspoken white supremacist and part-time Baptist minister, he was sentenced to 60 years in prison.

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Thank you so very much for this comprehensive coverage of the martyrs of Freedom Summer, a reminder of why voting rights are so very precious and the extent to which those in power will go to deny those rights.

The search for the missing civil rights workers resulted in the discovery of eight other Black men's remains. They included Henry Dee and Charles Moore. Citation:

https://www.pennlive.com/nation-world/2020/01/ku-klux-klansman-arrested-15-years-ago-in-murder-case-that-inspired-mississippi-burning.html and Wikipedia.

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Another martyr of the Freedom Summer was Jonathan Daniels, a seminarian from Keene NH, who was killed protecting the life of Ruby Sales, a 17 year old Civil Rights protestor . I know his history since I live in the Keene NH area. Here's an article about him: https://www.episcopalnewsservice.org/2015/08/13/remembering-jonathan-daniels-50-years-after-his-martyrdom/

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Thank you so much, Barbara. Say all their names. Lest we forget.

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Thank you, Barbara, for calling our attention to Jonathan Daniels, an amazing human being.

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Sandy, thank you for writing this story for us.

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I lifted this. Easy to source. Note the date. In the history of civil rights deaths, these rank. There are many hundreds of thousands that are not known. Dozens are current and ignored within the trial period. This is a fascist white driven racial pandemic.

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And the residue of that pandemic is the modern day Republican Party. This is where the racists fascists sexists and genderists landed. And with no particular pride I count my father among them. And his mother, and his sister.

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I remember this vividly. I was 14 yrs old when all of that happened. Tragic and will live in my mind forever.

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Sandy, at least cite the pages you are copying to this page.

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...or use quotation marks.

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Thanks Sandy.

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Thank you Heather.

If I may interject without recourse.

I was thinking the same yesterday as I watched the verdict being read. Had a video not been made, there would have been no trial, nor conviction. How many more George Floyd's are in their graves without the satisfaction of a conviction. More to the point, how many more Chauvins are out there going about their day as if nothing happened?

Be safe, be well.

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How many more George Floyd’s? How many more Chauvins? 😢

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So true, thanks Linda! Haven't heard much from you lately; hope all's well with you and yours.

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TPJ , thanks for asking. Honestly, I got blindsided by someone in the Community who didn't like a metaphor I used and continued to badger me about. I was going to just leave, but there are many people here that I really like and changed my mind.

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Don't talk to them, talk about them. Reply to a nearby comment from another, more polite and/or insightful reader. A well-placed response turneth away wrath. Less targeted or provocative, but still clear enough.

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Very true, my friend.

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Tonight I heard or watched a couple of hours of reactions to the Chauvin verdict. All Black commentators said something about "low-hanging fruit." Guilt was simply too obvious, too grotesque -- yet a guilty verdict was not. The world had to wait for a verdict that should have been called a slam dunk, if George Tenet hadn't discredited the phrase. But what about all the others where the horror doesn't stare us straight in the face like Chauvin? The unforgettable spectacle of police piling on one of their own in court still suggests how the police close ranks around their own interest. More justice still needed.

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The Chauvin verdict was one instance of justice. The whole policing system of the US needs deep change to the root and at all levels. Starting with generic responses to non-life-threatening incidents by an armed officer trained to respond with a life-threatening weapon.

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Yes. Cops are hammers. Not every problem is a nail. We need everything from hammers to blow driers, and everything in between.

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I like that "blow driers" idea. In fact, perhaps blow driers set on "cool"?

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I was searching for something as far from a hammer as I could find. But yeah, on a "cool" setting would work!

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Words are another tool in the toolbelt--shout, distract, de-escalate...obviously to be factored into who gets hired (deemed trainable), how officers get trained, and revision of policies and procedures that currently overly prescribe response of lethal force.

Anyone working in a profession that involves life and death decision-making knows the fear of a critical incident that triggers a review of one's compliance with policies and procedures--a separate ordeal from prospective criminal investigation.

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Years ago when I was a principal, a student with severe emotional issues smuggled a knife to school. He was only ten, but his emotional state was such that he had extreme strength. When he started attacking students, the teacher called me on the intercom and I told her to evacuate the classroom. When I arrived on the scene in mere moments, he had thrown desks and chairs across the room and was completely out of control. I instructed staff to call his mother and I began to employ every de-escalation strategy I knew until I could get close enough to wrap him in my arms and just hold him...safe and comforting. That's how his mother found us. If an unarmed school employee can deal with a terrified and dangerous "wild child," I don't understand why a sixteen year old "wild child" has to be shot and killed by a much larger and supposedly better trained and ARMED LEO.

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Bless you and how lucky for that boy. Sadly many institutions now have cut off that option of comforting containment by hug and holding with a hands-off policy, probably to avoid lawsuits for allegations of improper touching or use of force--by inadequately screened and trained staff.

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Very true. That was way back when. He was placed in LRE or "least restrictive environment" which was a wrong place for him to be. I don't know if that even exists today. My kids thrived on hugs; I can't imagine how it is for such kids now, especially if they live in homes with no affection from adults. I am speaking only of appropriate adult-child interaction. I know that the sickos out there have given us reason to be especially cautious.

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Do cops wear their glock on their dominant hand side? What if that was switched so a taser would be the, ahem, "automatic" weapon they reach for in a crisis.

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