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Member since: Thu Oct 19, 2017, 03:21 PM
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This case highlights the absurdity of qualified immunity - SC decision on shooting of Amy Hughes

Ali Velshi talked about this case on his show this morning:

The case started in 2010 when three police officers responded to a 911 call reporting that a woman had been seen acting erratically by hacking at a tree with a knife.

They saw Sharon Chadwick standing in the driveway of a house. A second woman, Amy Hughes, emerged from the house, holding a kitchen knife. She stopped six feet from Ms. Chadwick.
Although the officers did not know it, the two women were roommates. Ms. Hughes was not moving, spoke calmly, held the knife at her side and made no aggressive movements.

Ms. Chadwick later said that she did not feel threatened and that Ms. Hughes had appeared composed.
The officers drew their guns and told Ms. Hughes to drop the knife, but it is not clear that she heard them. Officer Andrew Kisela opened fire, shooting Ms. Hughes four times.
Screaming and bleeding, Ms. Hughes asked, “Why’d you shoot me?”
She survived and sued the officer for using excessive force.


The Supreme Court Gives Police a Green Light to ‘Shoot First and Think Later’

The Supreme Court just ruled that a police officer could not be sued for gunning down Amy Hughes. This has vast implications for law enforcement accountability. The details of the case are as damning as the decision. Hughes was not suspected of a crime. She was simply standing still, holding a kitchen knife at her side. The officer gave no warning that he was going to shoot her if she did not comply with his commands. Moments later, the officer shot her four times.

As Sotomayor argued in dissent, the court’s decision in Kisela v. Hughes means that such “palpably unreason­able conduct will go unpunished.” According to seven of the nine Justices, Hughes’ Fourth Amendment right to not be shot four times in this situation is less protected than the officer’s interest in escaping accountability for his brazen abuse of authority. According to Justice Sotomayor, “If this account of [the officer’s] conduct sounds unreasonable, that is because it was. And yet, the Court ... insulates that conduct from liability under the doctrine of qualified immunity.”
In 1982 it meant that “a reasonable person would have known” an action was unlawful. Fast forward to 2010 and “clearly established” meant that “every ‘reasonable official would have understood that what he is doing violates that right.’” The difference between “a” and “every” may seem technical, but, as Dean Chemerinsky and the late Judge Stephen Reinhardt explained, this change marks the difference between a measured fair notice standard under which it was possible to hold law enforcement accountable and what we have now: a system that “protects all but the plainly incompetent or those who knowingly violate the law.”

Qualified immunity has become a misnomer. It should be called what it is, as Justices Sotomayor and Ginsburg did in their dissent from last week’s opinion. It is an “absolute shield.”

Posted by tulipsandroses | Sat May 1, 2021, 10:42 AM (1 replies)

I hope the DOJ is looking into pay for pardon schemes that trump and his minions were up to

On Ari Melber- He's talking about text messages from Gaetz buddy Greenburg to Roger Stone offering 250K for a pardon
Posted by tulipsandroses | Fri Apr 30, 2021, 06:26 PM (5 replies)

One way of strengthening police/community relations is to fund PAL and similar programs

For those not familiar

National PAL
The World's Foremost Leader in Engaging Kids, Cops & Community

The National Association of Police Athletic/Activities League, Inc. exists to aid in the preventing of juvenile crime and violence by providing mentorship, civic/service, athletic, recreational, enrichment and educational opportunities and resources to PAL Membership Chapters. As a membership based organization, National PAL seeks to provide its Chapters with resources and opportunities to aid them within their organizational growth, as well as, to assist them within their pursuits of showcasing their unique programs and enhance the quality of individual youth engagement experiences.


-- With some changes made to the mission. Take the focus off preventing juvenile crime. Make it about community engagement. Make it a mandatory part of the job. Or incentivize participation.

My son attended a PAL program one summer that I was broke, short on funds to send him to a paid summer program. It was a positive experience. They took neighborhood kids to the circus, blocked off neighborhood streets, played baseball, football with the kids and even opened the fire hydrant so the kids could cool off. This was 20 years ago in NYC. The following summer, PAL did not operate in my neighborhood. They had no funds.

Far too many police officers have no skin in the game. They don't know the people in the communities they serve. Communities see them as enforcers, state sanctioned terrorists. They in turn, all too often, cannot see the humanity of the people that pay to keep them employed.
They do not see black children, as children. Two black 13 year old boys fighting in the street can end up being a life changing experience. Arrested and sent to jail for something that would not happen with 2 white 13 year old boys fighting in their neighborhood.

As a health care provider, the most important tool in my tool box, is building rapport with patients. You can't have buy in without that.
Policing should be the same way. You need to build a rapport with the community.

I think this would go such a long way to not only building relationships with the communities, but may also have a significant impact on crime in areas where there is high crime. People are more likely to open up to you, if they have some kind of trust or relationship.

If you are engaged in the community. Know the local folks, it would be a lot easier to de-escalate situations. You would be able to see people as more than a threat, even on a day that may be one of the worst days of their lives. Use the rapport and good will to de-escalate and keep the peace.
Just a thought that I hope is being pursued in some way.

Posted by tulipsandroses | Fri Apr 30, 2021, 06:00 PM (6 replies)

Meet James Rhodes, proud racist, and formerly employed, now homeless


A female driver was trying to do her job when she was unceremoniously attacked with racial slurs before her attacker threatened to blow her head off. All of this in front of her young child. Thank God she wasn’t hurt but more importantly she was brave enough to hit record because now appears her viral encounter may get her some justice. (see video below)

It’s now being reported that 53 year old James Thomas Rhodes of Stow, Ohio who went on that vicious racist rant, towards a black female DoorDash driver has been charged with ethnic intimidation, a fifth-degree felony; and aggravated menacing, a first-degree misdemeanor according to Stow Municipal Court records. James Rhodes who exploded on the woman repeatedly called her the N-word and threatened to shoot her with an AK-47 for delivering food in his apartment complex is also being reported have been evicted from the apartment complex where the incident occurred, and he has also been fired from his job. Allegedly. James Rhodes has pleaded not guilty and is out on a $10k bond.
Posted by tulipsandroses | Fri Apr 30, 2021, 12:26 AM (45 replies)

FDA Moves To Ban Menthol Cigarettes And Flavored Cigars

If you are black, smoke, or know black smokers - Hard to find folks that don't smoke Newports. That's not by mistake.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says it is moving to ban menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars, based on the evidence of the addictiveness and harm of the products. Tobacco companies have long targeted African Americans with advertising for menthol cigarettes.
The FDA said that "menthol masks unpleasant flavors and harshness of tobacco products, making them easier to start using. Tobacco products with menthol can also be more addictive and harder to quit by enhancing the effects of nicotine."

African American adults have the highest percentage of menthol cigarette use compared with other racial and ethnic groups, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The NAACP welcomed the FDA's announcement.
"For decades, data have shown that the tobacco industry has successfully and intentionally marketed mentholated cigarettes to African Americans and particularly African American women as 'replacement smokers;' that menthol smokers have a harder time quitting smoking; and that tobacco use is a major contributor to heart disease, cancer, and stroke – three leading causes of death among African Americans," NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson said in a statement.

Posted by tulipsandroses | Thu Apr 29, 2021, 05:44 PM (19 replies)

NYPD Said Killing of Kawaski Trawick Appeared "Justified." Video Shows Officers Escalated Situation.

Trigger Warning****
Posted by tulipsandroses | Sun Apr 25, 2021, 08:10 PM (5 replies)

Attorney Generals Matter. Elections have consequences

AG Keith Ellison vs AG Daniel Cameron

This is why we cannot let up when it comes to GOTV. We should have non stop effort for people to vote in every election. Not just generals. We must continue to inform the electorate why these local elections matter.
Posted by tulipsandroses | Sun Apr 25, 2021, 04:44 PM (3 replies)

What not to do on an online dating site. Brag about storming the Capitol. We are not a match. LOL!

‘We Are Not a Match’: Bumble Date Turns Capitol Rioter In to the FBI

“I made it all the way to Statuary Hall,” he said. “We are not a match,” she responded

The FBI arrested a man in connection to the January 6 Capitol riots after a prospective Bumble date turned him in. A man calling himself Robert Chapman matched with the date a week after the riots and bragged about going to the Capitol early in the conversation. “I did storm the capitol,” Chapman said in a Bumble message included in court documents. “I made it all the way into Statuary Hall!”

“We are not a match,” the Bumble date replied.

“I suppose not,” Chapman said.

Then the Bumble date began looking at Chapman’s social media presence. They found profiles for a man named Robert Erick who looked exactly like Chapman. “In addition to Complainant-1’s direct communication with Chapman wherein he admitted to entering the U.S. Capitol Building, Complainant-1 informed the FBI that he/she observed a Facebook post on a Facebook page with account profile name “funkyvunky’” court documents said.
Posted by tulipsandroses | Sun Apr 25, 2021, 03:55 PM (2 replies)

How broken policing is breaking our democracy

Lonng, but.a really good read.

A body of political science research finds that our criminal justice system suppresses the votes of Black people — in ways beyond the obvious.

Days before a jury convicted Derek Chauvin of murdering George Floyd, a group of boys on bicycles were stopped by police officers in the town of Perth Amboy, New Jersey.

Footage uploaded by one of the boys shows the predominantly Black and Latino group riding close to cars and popping wheelies, but nothing seems illegal. Multiple squad cars appear; the kids, who say they’re far from home and afraid of losing their bikes, try to get away before being pulled over.

One officer tries to defuse the situation, promising the kids he won’t take their bikes if they stay on the right side of the road; the kids even applaud him as he walks away. But then a second officer, a sergeant, starts grabbing at one of the kid’s bikes. She yells at a Black boy for challenging her, arrests him, and seizes all of the kids’ bikes. The first officer, the one who seemed nice at first, backs his colleague.

The legal justification for the bike seizure is an obscure city ordinance, enacted in 1939, requiring that cyclists obtain a license to operate a bike and display a tag on their vehicle. The absurdity of the pretext helps illustrate the grim reality behind this interaction: For millions of Americans, this is what the government looks like. In many communities, especially poor Black ones, police harassment, arrest, and incarceration are routine parts of life — shaping how they understand the nature of the American state itself.
This has a dangerous — and not widely appreciated — effect on our democracy.
Posted by tulipsandroses | Sun Apr 25, 2021, 02:46 PM (0 replies)

Another bad apple in the bunch. The whole tree, farm is rotten.

ITs the accepted behavior of police brutality that makes the whole farm rotten.

Two years ago, my 19-year-old brother, Anton, was killed by a former Dover police officer. After his death, it was revealed that the officer had 29 use-of-force reports filed against him.


Delaware is one of the few states in the nation where officer disciplinary records are only known by police internal affair units. That secrecy enabled Thomas Webster to continue abusing Dover residents during the decade he spent on the force. In 2015, he finally resigned after facing criminal charges for kicking a Black man in the face and breaking his jaw during an arrest.

Webster simply moved across state lines and was hired as an officer in Greensboro, Maryland. That is where the fatal encounter with my brother occurred. Webster responded to a 911 call claiming that Anton kidnapped a 12-year-old boy, who was actually a cousin. Within an hour of crossing paths with Webster and other officers who were handling the call, my brother was dead.

Webster never should have gotten a badge in Maryland. His certification would have been denied had the state police training commission known about his history in Dover. Last year, the former Greensboro police chief pleaded guilty to covering up Webster’s record on his application. It would have been much harder to hide this information if Delaware made it public in the first place.

Posted by tulipsandroses | Sun Apr 25, 2021, 12:47 PM (12 replies)
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