I read the news today, oh boy

Some of the News, every Once in a While

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Re: I read the news today, oh boy

Postby Kaharz » Wed Apr 29, 2015 9:26 pm

My biggest problem with the violence, other than the violence of course, was that the violent protestors were destroying their own neighborhoods. They should have been destroying police headquarters, city offices or at least the wealthy and ridiculously tax exempt development of Harbor East.* Of course it is easy to say that from my rather privleged social and economic position. My wife and I will be out a few hundred bucks due to the curfew halfing her bartending shifts, but losing that money is just an annoyance. It doesn't even make it to the level of mild inconvenience.

*the developers aren't paying property taxes. Everyone else is. They initially had a ten year exemption because they were capping and building on contaminated sites. That was okay. But after a wildly successful ten years, they managed to get it extended for another ten, which wasn't okay.
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Re: I read the news today, oh boy

Postby Liriodendron_fagotti » Wed Apr 29, 2015 9:29 pm

This seems like a pretty well thought-out and researched response to criticisms of the rioting.

e: here's another one
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Re: I read the news today, oh boy

Postby Kaharz » Thu Apr 30, 2015 2:32 pm

I really don't agree with the Salon article other than it being understandable how so much completely justified anger could erupt into violence and that it draws more attention than peaceful protests. But in the end, it often just brings the 'boot' down harder. Just because the other side is breaking the rules, doesn't mean your side should. That is how you 'justify' things like torture, attacks on civilians, marshall law, and more violence. Even in the case of an all out violent revolution, things usually only get better for those on top. You just trade one ruling elite for another.

It is unfortunate, but the most effective tactic for an oppressed group to gain ground is to show the brutality of the oppressors which requires members of the oppressed group to be victims in a very public manner. Violence can instigate that if the oppressors take the bait, but if they don't then you are screwed. If the Baltimore police had responded by using bullets against rocks and bottles and left bloody teenage corpses on the streets in full view of news cameras then there might have been an extreme response in favor of the protestors. But that didn't happen. Instead most people who were borderline sympathetic but otherwise detached now see the protestors as "thugs" and "criminals."

Peaceful protest is very slow and much more easily ignored for a time. But there are a lot of people in this city who started out unsympathetic to the police. They might not have cared about poor black people either, but at least they weren't on either side. Now a lot of those people may not be on the side of the police still, but they are definitely against poor black people.

Violent protest may be a tactic, but it is a shitty one. Most people detached from the situation aren't going to say, "oh wow, things must be really bad if they are rioting." They are just going to reinforce their attitude that those neighborhoods are full of criminals and junkies. Most those people have never even driven through those neighborhoods or know anyone from them. The reason I wasn't worried about my safety even though I could drive there in few minutes or walk there in less than an hour is because it might as well be another city. There is the Baltimore that the tourists see and the middle class residents go in and then there is the "other" Baltimore and that is a big part of the problem. People who never leave the middle class and tourist areas often just view the rest of the city as crime and drugs. They very much lack an understanding of how racism and classism can trap people. They don't understand just how bad those neighborhoods can be to live in and even if they have an idea of it, they don't understand why people stay. They see poor, homeless and addicts in all but the very nicest of neighborhoods and don't understand how others can stuck in really bad neighborhoods. They don't understand why those neighborhoods just don't just fix the problems themselves.

Also, the big problem is poverty. Racism (or any other bigotry) definitely compounds it and there is definitely racism at the individual, social and instutional levels. But fixing the racism, however wonderful that will be, will not make things all that much better. And the cops are biased against poor people in poor neighborhoods too, regardless of their skin color.
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Re: I read the news today, oh boy

Postby Edminster » Fri May 01, 2015 3:55 pm

A pleasant surprise!

Warrants were issued for the arrest of all six officers. It wasn't immediately clear where the officers were Friday morning.

Officer Caesar Goodson Jr., 45, who was the driver of a police van that carried Gray through the streets of Baltimore, was charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter, second-degree assault, two vehicular manslaughter charges and misconduct in office.

Officer William Porter, 25, was charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and misconduct in office.

Lt. Brian Rice, 41, was charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and misconduct in office.

Sgt. Alicia White, 30, was charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and misconduct in office.

Officer Edward Nero, 29, was charged with second-degree assault and misconduct in office.

Officer Garrett Miller, 26, was charged with second-degree assault, misconduct in office and false imprisonment.
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Re: I read the news today, oh boy

Postby Kaharz » Fri May 01, 2015 10:59 pm

It is nice. If it weren't for several factors it may not have happened. If there hadn't been the protests and attention over Michael Brown before this, Gray had been claimed to have resisted arrest in some way, or if Mosby wasn't our new State's Attorney,* it might have gone a lot differently. There might have still been charges, but probably nothing as high as 2nd degree murder. With the details that have come out, such as there being no cause to arrest Gray in the first place, it would have been really hard to get away with not pressing charges, but of course those details could have been swept away.

Now we'll see how the prosecution goes. Things could be real tricky at a jury trial as Ferguson and previous cases have shown. They couldn't even get an indictment in Michael Brown's death. This could be a bit different since they don't really have a defense. Even if the defendants managed to successfully claim that Gray intentionally injured himself while in the van, it isn't really a defense against the charges they face. They would somehow have to make the claim that the arrest was legal to avoid the assault charges and have to claim they had no idea he needed medical attention to avoid the manslaughter and depraved heart 2nd degree murder charge. It isn't impossible, but with what has come out so far, I can't imagine it is likely. We'll see what their side of the story is if they go to trial, which I'm guessing at least some of them will. Even if they are completely guilty,** jury nullification can be used for good or bad.

*Not that Mosby is necessarily better than her last two predecessors. She hasn't been in office long enough to say. But she was a no-name despite being the wife of a city councilman, was widely criticized for the first couple months in office, and she's only been in office for four months. She also has ties to West Baltimore. So she has a lot to prove.

**Personally I suspect they are completely guilty. The charges may be trumped up on a few of them to try to pressure them to testify against the others. But overall, I'm pretty damn certain they knowingly broke the law arresting him and let Gray die in their custody. Even if they didn't intend for him to die. But as flawed as our justice system is, I still think judgement should be reserved until the process is complete.
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Re: I read the news today, oh boy

Postby Liriodendron_fagotti » Sat May 02, 2015 1:01 am

The statements coming out of the police union in Baltimore after the charges were made are kinda maddening.
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Re: I read the news today, oh boy

Postby Kaharz » Sat May 02, 2015 4:05 am

Liriodendron_fagotti wrote:The statements coming out of the police union in Baltimore after the charges were made are kinda maddening.


Yea, I don't think anyone pays attention to them other than to bash them. I saw one journalist liken their statements about unnamed "biased" journalists to McCarthyism.
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Re: I read the news today, oh boy

Postby Liriodendron_fagotti » Sat May 02, 2015 5:31 am

Kaharz wrote:
Liriodendron_fagotti wrote:The statements coming out of the police union in Baltimore after the charges were made are kinda maddening.


Yea, I don't think anyone pays attention to them other than to bash them. I saw one journalist liken their statements about unnamed "biased" journalists to McCarthyism.

That's good to know. I suppose national media outlets will jump on any official-sounding group saying anything that sounds like a [controversial] story.* I get that they feel the need to defend their members, but does no one in the organization think that it would be better for their long-term health to acknowledge the widespread issues in modern US police and act as a positive force for change?**

*My daily "duh" statement.
**My daily naive wishful thinking
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Re: I read the news today, oh boy

Postby Kimra » Sat May 02, 2015 4:15 pm

Really they aren't doing themselves any favours. The community will see that they don't care about the community at large. And it kind of reeks of 'I must defend their actions because I would have done the same thing' sort of mentality.
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Re: I read the news today, oh boy

Postby Astrogirl » Sat May 02, 2015 9:15 pm

The one black kid who smashed in a car window (I think nobody was in the car?) turned himself in after his parents told him to and now the bail is 500k USD, but for each of the criminal police people listed above it's only half that or less. And the boy is at least theoretically facing life in prison most news mention (how is that even possible?!) and pretty likely 4-8 years. What would a white kid get? Having to pay the car window and 3 weekends of community service? Not much more probably.
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Re: I read the news today, oh boy

Postby Kaharz » Sat May 02, 2015 11:17 pm

The potential life sentence is due to the rioting charge, which carries a max sentence of life in Maryland. I dont know which judge oversaw his bail hearing, but one judge, Judge Owens, was apparently doubling the bails requested by the State's Attorney. Which is utter bullshit.

A white kid in the exact same situation probably wouldn't have gotten off that easy. Smashing a police car in a riot is not taken lightly. But I doubt their bail would have been anywhere near that high and I doubt they be as worried about recieving a harsh punishment. They probably would have been facing the same charges, that is pretty straight forward.

I hope he gets probation and time served. He is young and has no record. Putting him in the system for years isn't going to help.* I wouldn't be amazed if he was given a good deal by the State's Attorney after all the publicity, but I wouldn't hold my breath either. A judge can ignore a plea deal, but they very rarely do.

*the idea of prison being used for reform in the current US system is laughable regardless.
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Re: I read the news today, oh boy

Postby Astrogirl » Sun Jun 14, 2015 9:12 pm

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Re: I read the news today, oh boy

Postby Liriodendron_fagotti » Sun Jun 14, 2015 9:21 pm

They're going about it wrong, you need to prostrate yourself for change, not protest!
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Re: I read the news today, oh boy

Postby Lethal Interjection » Mon Jun 15, 2015 12:42 am

Pokaroo?
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Re: I read the news today, oh boy

Postby DonRetrasado » Mon Jun 15, 2015 1:11 am

Liriodendron_fagotti wrote:They're going about it wrong, you need to prostrate yourself for change, not protest!

OK if they think I'm giving them an examination they're out of their gourds
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