August 31, 2012
[TNI] The Thin Blue Line

But there is a fundamental difference between a lying civilian and a lying police officer. When cops lie, they are part of a system of language that is integral to the state’s monopoly on violence.


If language is a weapon, cops were equipped with firepower and the training to use it, just as they were with actual guns. Meanwhile ­complainants—civilians whose circumstances put them in frequent contact with police—have been denied mastery of the official language.

November 10, 2011
3 Officers to Face Discipline for Detaining City Officials at Parade -

Mr. Williams said he believed racial bias fueled the episode in which he and Mr. Foy, an aide to the public advocate, were stopped by police officers after walking down a sidewalk that had been closed because of the parade. Despite identifying himself a councilman, Mr. Williams said he was handcuffed. Mr. Foy was pushed to the ground by a police officer and also arrested, a video of the episode showed. Mr. Williams and Mr. Foy are black.

The men said they were originally granted permission by a high-ranking officer to walk down the closed sidewalk.

At the risk of de-emphasizing the likely racial nature of this, I think there’s another point lurking in here waiting to be made.  Let’s see if I can tease it out gracefully.  Apologies up front if I completely bungle it.  

The victims, in addition to being black, are city officials.  I wonder if this fact alone is enough to result in discipline for the officers involved.  While it seems clear this kind of thing might not have transpired in quite the same way if the city officials had been white, I also think that there is a marked difference between how their complaint was handled and how the complaints of peaceful OWS protesters might be handled.  That is, if police use excessive force on protesters (racially motivated or not), do the officers involved face the same level of discipline?  

November 3, 2011
Quebec police defend fatal shooting of two cattle caught on video - Yahoo! News

Think of the children.

But he says the video is 77 seconds long and does not reflect the reality of the intervention, which lasted more than an hour, during which, he says, police consulted with the animals’ owner and other cattle breeders in an effort to calm the animals and isolate them.

"An hour during which every attempt failed, and during which one of the animals, who may not have appeared dangerous to witnesses who had not seen the preceding 60 minutes, charged vehicles, moved a trailer by its sheer physical strength, and managed to once again escape, right there in the city near a school and busy roads."

October 19, 2011
Why do the cops arrest the protestors? | Party Crasher | Impose Magazine

Improper incentives.

But don’t the police get in trouble for arresting people for no reason? The answer is “Not really.” Police like to arrest people and let the charges get thrown out in court because they don’t have any incentive not to do this. They rarely are reprimanded by their commanders for this behavior. If someone who was wrongfully arrested sues, as the 700 people arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge during a protest two weeks ago are joining a class-action suit to do, the money payed out in the settlement is taxpayer dollars. The officers will probably not be investigated for misuse of their authority and they will feel no harsh consequence. They believe wrongfully arresting people to be part of their job and that it helps to maintain “peace”.

September 30, 2011
A Thin Line on Skirts -

Blame the victim.

Jessica Silk, one of Safe Slope’s founders, called such interaction with police “completely inappropriate.”

"There have been reports that the women attacked were all wearing skirts," she said. "Unfortunately this might be a common link between the women that were attacked but the message shouldn’t be that you shouldn’t wear a skirt. The message should be that, ‘Here are ways that you can protect yourself.’"

Lauren said she’s been surprised by the male responses to the incident—including from her own father. She said the consensus among men is that while it was inappropriate for the officer to broach such a topic, they all think he has a point.

"I completely disagree," she said. "Where do you draw the line? I can’t wear shorts? Besides the fact that I wasn’t wearing anything that was inappropriate or provocative….I don’t think that should be part of the problem. At all."

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