A "Black Lives Matter" activist named Sandra Bland died recently in the jail of Waller County, Texas. Sandra Bland, 28, was about to begin a new job at Texas A&M University before she was killed in custody. Pulled over ostensibly for failure to signal a lane change, she was arrested rather than cited. To defend itself from criticism of the arrest, the department released a video showing her arrest by an officer who later asserted the unarmed woman had "assaulted" him. Although the video contains obvious signs of editing, the department denies that the video was ever edited.
Speaking with her mother about her new job, Bland had said, "My purpose is to go back to Texas and stop all social injustice in the South."
Well, Waller County had an answer for that, didn't it?
Instead of protecting the citizens, police in the United States have a developed a reputation for using force to coerce citizens into complying with a variety of ridiculous demands (why did Sandra need to exit her vehicle to receive a citation for failure to signal a lane change?), or skipping the demands and moving straight to the killing. The police killing of Caroline Small emphasizes the ability of police to kill unarmed civilians with impunity even if they aren't men trying to purchase an unloaded air rifle at Walmart, or for allegedly shoplifting. Maybe – at least in New York, when the officer is a rookie – there's at least an apology for killing a civilian for deciding to take the stairs. The culture of killing American civilians is an epidemic among U.S. law enforcement. Suicide by cop just doesn't work in places like the United Kingdom: they don't kill people. While acknowledging that the United States has a greater population (~319 million) than the United Kingdom (~64 million), the rate of police killings of civilians is vastly different than the population difference: despite that U.S. data on police killings is incomplete because reporting to the F.B.I. is purely voluntary, the U.S. death toll from justifiable killings by police was more than 400 individuals, while British police discharged their weapons in the line of duty a grand total of three (3) times, with zero fatalities. British shootings of civilians by police is extremely controversial even in the case of a known gangster. In the U.S., the hypermilitarized "police" now occupying our cities seem virtually expected to kill. For some real perspective: U.S. police killed more people this March than U.K. police have killed since 1900. Last year, the death toll was 1,100 killed in the U.S. compared to twenty-six (26) in the U.S. This isn't some multiple based on population difference, it's a cultural problem in U.S. "police" forces.
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Thursday, July 9, 2015
FIFA previously halted ethics proceedings against one of its officials who'd been caught using his FIFA office to benefit from corruption; the 70-year-olf had been diagnosed with colon cancer and guaranteed FIFA he'd never officiate again. However, the ex-official turned state's evidence, resulting in prosecutions that included multiple extradition requests from Switzerland, so FIFA retaliated with the gratuitous step of imposing a lifelong ban against his officiating in national or international soccer events.
At least someone's noticing Putin's innocent-faced invasion of its neighbor illustrates the harm he's willing to cause when convenient. In order to conceal the scope of the wars Putin conducts in secret, he's declared "peacetime" troop deaths a state secret. Well, of course. People might notice they're actually at war.