To “pacify tensions” brought about by cops killing unarmed people, we’re instructing teens to become docile subhumans who should only respond to the presence of law enforcement in the manner law enforcement prefers. That’s the gist of the Community Safety Education Act Instructor’s Guide [PDF], which not only tells people to remain suitably cowed during traffic stops, but also gets the law wrong.The problems with the instruction manual (and the law… and required course itself…) begin at the beginning, in the “Tips for Educators.” The guide says instructors should remind students of their rights, as well as warn them that exercising them could get them killed.
As one does in this age of social media telegraphy, outraged parties brought this to the attention of a local politician with a sizable following — Texas Ag Commissioner Sid Miller — who dumped his own petrol on the partisan bonfire by posting it to Facebook and calling it an example of “Democrat sleaze.” He also claimed the picture was supposed to be “Judge Kavanaugh’s young daughter” — a claim made without supporting evidence but with the amplification of 738,000 Facebook followers.Shortly thereafter, Marion Stanford began receiving threats. Unfortunately, this is the predictable part of the backlash. Stanford also received a visit from local law enforcement, which was a bit less predictable. But they weren’t there about the threats. They were there about the sign, as the Dallas Morning News reports.
Weird stuff is happening in Philadelphia. Things have changed drastically since Larry Krasner became District Attorney. Anyone who enters this office and immediately earns the undying hatred of the local police union is probably someone actually serious about accountability.Right after taking office, DA Krasner secured 33 resignations from prosecutors and staff who weren’t willing to get on board with his reform efforts. He went after the bail system, pointing out it did little else but ensure the poorest Philadelphians spent the most time in jail while still presumably innocent. Then he pissed off the police union by daring to tell incoming police cadets force deployment — especially deadly force — is a power to be used only when necessary and handled with the utmost of respect.Accountability INTENSIFIES. A bogus pedestrian stop performed by two cops has led to [rubs eyes in disbelief] the arrest of the two cops who performed the stop.
This is even worse than the police union’s take on the incident, which referred to the completely expected backlash as “kneejerk.” But, hey, I guess deciding to tase an 11-year-old in the back — one who reportedly was all of 4’11” and 90 pounds — couldn’t possibly be portrayed as a kneejerk reaction by a law enforcement officer. When force isn’t truly needed, we can be sure some cops will deploy it anyway.
But Rep. John Becker’s take is the hottest take of all. Anyone tased by a cop — even an 11-year-old — is a person who brought that crackling, barbed punishment down on themselves. There’s no reason to question the wisdom or necessity of the Taser deployment. Rather, we should question ourselves. And perhaps society. But mostly ourselves.
Community members, cops, and parents in one South Carolina school district are all pushing back against two summer reading books they believe propagate anti-police feelings. The books, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas and All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely, were on a list of four titles for students taking an English 1 College Prep course. Both books mentioned have received numerous awards and accolades, including the Coretta Scott King Honor.
Something strange and disturbing is going on in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Cops have been instructing paramedics to use certain drugs to subdue arrestees. Cops don’t know what’s best for arrestees in terms of medical care. The fact that paramedics have been following their instructions is the most disturbing fact of all. As the Star Tribune reports, cops telling EMS personnel what to do has put people’s lives in jeopardy.
A lot has happened in the small community of Thetford since we last covered the two-person police department’s acquisition of $1 million in military gear through the 1033 program. It’s not all MRAPs and weapons, though. Apparently Police Chief Bob Kenny was grabbing anything that wasn’t nailed down, including a tractor, two Humvees, ATVs, a forklift, and any other supplies the federal government was agreeable to parting with.The PD ran out of room to park/store everything, so it began dumping equipment “off-site:” on the private property of agreeable landowners. Things began to unravel when the town supervisor started wondering why the police chief had decided to turn the town into an episode of “Hoarders.”The Genesee County Sheriff’s Department was called in to perform an audit but soon found it couldn’t do anything because there was apparently no paper trail. That appears to have been a case of the Thetford PD playing keepaway with documents, because the Sheriff’s Department decided to step things up in late April.
An ultra-safe Michigan town of 6,800 has claimed more than $1 million in military equipment through the Defense Department’s 1033 program. The program allows law enforcement agencies to obtain anything from file cabinets to mine-resistant assault vehicles for next to nothing provided the agencies can show a need for the equipment. Most can “show” a “need,” since it’s pretty easy to type something up about existential terrorist/drug threats. Boilerplate can be adjusted as needed, but for the most part, requests are granted and oversight — either at the federal and local level — is almost nonexistent.This has come to a head in Thetford Township, the fourth-safest municipality in Michigan, and home to more than $1 million in military gear and two (2) police officers.
Grimes had been driving about 35 mph on an ATV when Bessner — a passenger in a moving patrol car — fired his stun gun at the teen during a chase on Detroit’s east side.Grimes slammed into the back of a parked truck and flew off his ATV. The impact of the crash ripped gashes into his forehead, both cheeks and upper lip and dislocated his skull. Doctors pronounced him dead on arrival at St. John Hospital.
Bessner has a history of using excessive force and has been reprimanded before for using his Taser inappropriately, including using the device on handcuffed suspects. The investigation into Bessner’s conduct shows that over a four-year span ending in 2017, he had 40 use of force incidents, 17 pursuits and five car accidents.
I cannot imagine what it must be like as an appellate court judge to have to write these words (h/t Brad Heath):
“Construing the facts in the light most favorable to [Trey] Sims, a reasonable police officer would have known that attempting to obtain a photograph of a minor child’s erect penis, by ordering the child to masturbate in the presence of others, would unlawfully invade the child’s right of privacy under the Fourth Amendment.”