Police, Race and the Media

by James A. Bacon

Before people go into conniptions over the politically incorrect thrust of this column, let me make something Hubble telescope clear: I do not condone police brutality toward African-Americans. When incidents occur like the death of Freddie Gray in police custody in Baltimore, the death of Eric Garner on the streets of New York, and most horrifyingly the execution-style slaying of Michael Slager in Charleston, S.C., the facts need to be gathered and police need to be held to account. Police are human. Some make tragic mistakes. Some are no better than criminals themselves. Bad cops need to be demoted, fired or go to prison. And, yes, black lives do matter. All lives matter.

Nothing controversial about that. But someone has to tell another side of the story — an aspect of the story that has been, and I don’t use this word lightly, suppressed in the mainstream media. The fact is, the police in many inner-city African-American neighborhoods are not working with a docile, law-abiding population. While a majority of citizens are like those who, after the recent riot in Baltimore, showed up the next day to clean up the mess that the lawbreakers had made, or the feisty woman in yellow who bitch-slapped her 16-year-old son for throwing rocks at police, there is a significant hard-core criminal element that regards the police, especially white policemen, as the enemy. These criminals are armed and dangerous, and any encounter between them and the police has the potential to turn violent. It is not without reason that policemen regard every encounter as a possible life-and-death situation and approach it in a state of hyper-vigilance.

Unfortunately, the mainstream media is making matters worse — far worse. This is a country of 320 million people. There are hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of encounters every day between police and the African-American population. Most are routine. But now that the Black Lives Matter narrative has taken hold, the media play up a tiny handful of encounters that confirm the narrative of omnipresent racism and ignore anything that might confound it. Thus, in recent months the media have magnified three or four incidents, playing them out in the headlines and news reels over weeks, as if they were somehow typical of the interaction between police and African-Americans.

In doing so, the media feeds the sense of grievance among African-Americans and encourages disruptive behavior like the Ferguson riots, the Baltimore riots and the New York shootings of two police officers. Yes, I blame the media for ignoring context, stoking resentments, and worsening the state of race relations in the United States.

Imagine, if you will, that the media were dominated by conservatives. And imagine that conservatives viewed race relations through the prism of black underclass criminality and violence. And imagine that such a media ran front-page headlines and led off national news broadcasts with stories of white policemen dying at the hands of black criminals, day after day… after day. Then, imagine that such coverage was shorn of any context, that evidence of police brutality and injustice were systematically ignored. That would be a right-wing analogue of what we see now.

Let’s throw out a few facts. Last year, 117 police officers died in the line of duty. Forty-eight were shot and 18 killed in “physical-related incidents,” according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Fund. Another 51,625 were victims of assaults, and 14,857 were injured in assaults. States the NLEOF:

Of the 50 firearms related fatalities in 2014, fifteen officers were shot and killed in ambush attacks, more than any other circumstance of fatal shootings in 2014. Nine officers were killed during disturbance calls. Eight officers were shot and killed during a traffic stop or pursuit and seven officers were killed while investigating suspicious persons or circumstances in 2014.

The NLEOF does not break down the number of police killed by African-American perpetrators, but if the percentage of killings is consistent with the number of crimes committed by African-Americans nationally, there would be enough shootings and ambushes for the media to cherry pick and keep one in the news every day of the year. If the media ran reality through a conservative filter instead of a liberal one, instead of discussing police brutality, we would be discussing the crisis of policemen under siege. But the media isn’t conservative. For the most part, reporters and broadcasters define the problem as poverty and racism, so the context of violence against policemen goes missing.

No one tracks the race of the police assailants, but I would hypothesize — that means I will not state it as fact but offer it as a proposition to be tested with real-world evidence — that a disproportionate number of police assailants are African-American. Why would I advance such a conjecture? Because African-Americans, as a result of their long and tortured history in this country, bear an outsized animus toward the police and other authority figures. Perhaps that animus is justified, perhaps it’s not — that’s a side point that does not change the reality that the animus exists and people act upon it.

An anti-police animus is integral to the sub-culture of gangsta rap, which embraces the term of “Nigga” as an assertive form of self-identification, revels in a hyper-masculine ideal of machismo, debases women as “hoes,” glorifies violence and the gun culture, voices continual defiance against white authority and specifically labels the police as the enemy. (View the YouTube compilation above of gangsta rap songs circulating this February; note the prevalence of guns in the videos and the aggressive, in-your-face style of the rappers.) Latinos have their own narco rap, but there is nothing comparable in the white underclass.

The reality of what’s happening in America’s inner cities is much more complex than the racism-and-poverty model. Insofar as people think of police as an occupying force, they will treat police as an occupying force. They will tend to respond more belligerently to police actions. In turn, police will respond in kind. While they may know that not all young black males are armed and hostile, they cannot know ahead of time who is and who isn’t. Not wanting to become one of those Officers Fund statistics, they will tend to treat every encounter as potentially dangerous, frequently responding more aggressively than they should. I do not say that to condone excessive force but to explain it in the context of a mutually reinforcing pattern of behavior between police and the criminal element.

Perhaps this interpretation puts the onus on police to emphasize community police, building bonds of trust in the inner city. Perhaps it means the police should halt tactics, such as stop-and-frisk, that feed the gangsta-rap narrative of police as occupiers. But this interpretation also undercuts the narrative of African-American hoodlums as victims in which every fatal encounter is presumed to be a reflection of racism. Only if we recognize the complexity of the forces of work can we ever hope to have an honest dialogue about race in America. A media fails to convey this complexity fails at the most elemental level to do its job.

Update: The original version of this post contained lyrics from a rap song. I have been informed that the lyrics were a parody. Accordingly, I have deleted the quote.

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83 responses to “Police, Race and the Media

  1. I was pretty fond of songs that mourned “Four Dead in Ohio” and still have my copy of the Chicago album that ended with the chant from the Democratic convention riots (“The whole world is watching, the whole world is watching.”) I never shot at any cops or National Guardsmen in my life. (But a life-long concern about the abuse of government power was born, I must admit.) I dispute your assertion that the animus toward The Man is concentrated in one population, or that the media ignores the very real dangers that police officers face on a daily basis.

    The truly discouraging thing about all this is that it is 50 years after the Watts riots, which happened while I was living in California, and its deja vu all over again. The truly encouraging thing is that Baltimore seems to be calmer today, at least in part (I think) because the president yesterday told the perpetrators that there is a difference between protest and stealing and what they were doing was stealing.

    It doesn’t take many bad apples to ruin the barrel. I agree there is plenty of fault to go around, and the vast majority of cops follow the rules, but cops have to stop shooting unarmed people in the back, smothering people on a sidewalk because they are selling untaxed cigarettes, or throwing live people into police vans and then removing them fatally injured thirty minutes later. That just has to stop. There is zero justification for any of those incidents.

    • Steve, you’re taking lessons from Larry G!

      I dispute your assertion that the animus toward The Man is concentrated in one population..

      I didn’t say that. Clearly that’s not true. I am saying that the animus is particularly strong among African-Americans, especially young males, in the inner city. Gangsta rap both reflects that animus and contributes to it.

      “I dispute your assertion that … the media ignores the very real dangers that police officers face on a daily basis.”

      I didn’t say that either. Clearly, that’s not true either. I said the media ignores the interplay between anti-police animus among inner-city, African-American criminal element males and the response of the police who interact with them. Rather than recognizing the complexity of the dynamic, the media characterizes the problem in the usual racism-poverty terms.

      Otherwise, as I made abundantly clear in my post, I agree with you — shooting unarmed people in the back has to stop. We hold police to a higher standard than we hold criminals. But if we want to fix a problem, we have to understand it.

      • no Jim – you are walking on a verbal tightrope and your intent shows through.

        you never once said the words that Steve Haner said that should have been including in your wet dream rant about Conservative media reporting “their way”.

        You talked about how many police killed. did you talk about how many unarmed blacks have been killed?

        You can have your view but it’s out of kilter with the realities.

        Only a short while ago you were pontificating that rabble rousers were making more of the race issue than there really was.

        Would you like to reassess? Do you think the problems in Baltimore with unemployment, bad educations, and community policing (sic) are unique to the country?

        do you think there is a “pattern” of these interactions between police and blacks? do you think there is a correlation between blacks who cannot get a job and dealing street drugs to make money? Do you wonder why so many blacks have such horrible educations that they cannot get a job?

        or do you think the blacks are just “culturally” inferior/bad genes as I seem to get a whiff up when talking about their performance in schools?

        Do you think more Baltimore’s are on the horizon if we don’t do something about black unemployment?

        Do you think if you cut entitlements – that places like Baltimore will get better as people are forced to dig themselves out of poverty?

        questions. questions…

      • re: ” I am saying that the animus is particularly strong among African-Americans, especially young males, in the inner city. Gangsta rap both reflects that animus and contributes to it.”

        where do you get this from Jim? are you making it up?

        • Am I making this up?

          Read the lyrics. View the video clip.

          • no – this part: ” ” I am saying that the animus is particularly strong among African-Americans, especially young males, in the inner city. Gangsta rap both reflects that animus and contributes to it.”

            numbers.. are you focusing on a behavior that you think represents a large number when in fact, it may not?

            Do you remember Peter, Paul and Mary and “puff the magic dragon” and many other songs of that era that horrified the older folks when they starting paying attention to the lyrics ?

            Did it truly represent the majority of kids of that era ?

            yes, it’s INTENDED to offend your sensibilities… more of the way the Black Panthers conducted themselves than the Martin Luther types did.

            young black men have a lot of hate.. there is no question and they want you to know it… they want to confront you over what they feel is an inequitable system that folks like you – and me – defend and say they are responsible for their situation and not willing two pull themselves out of it.

            They see – you – and I – as using the police to control them – to arrest them and send them to prison so gagsta rap is their language – of rebellion.

            what are we going to do? more police and more prisons? more police doing their job in fear for their lives? More blacks killed in situations where police feel they are justified?

            I don’t pretend to know all the answers but I’m quite sure a kid that gets a decent education has a chance at a job -some hope.. something of value that should not be squandered on doing stupid stuff with police.

            Take away that hope – and what happens ?

          • Ah, the old I’m-depraved-because-I’m-deprived argument.

            Question one: Are inner-city African Americans more deprived than they were 60 years ago?

            Question two: If so, would you agree that our welfare system is a total shambles despite the expenditure of untold trillions of the years.

            Question three: If not, if African Americans are materially better off, than how do you explain the increase in criminality?

          • re:” Question one: Are inner-city African Americans more deprived than they were 60 years ago?”

            in terms of access to the military manufacturing jobs -yes
            there is no future if your education is insufficient for the current economy

            “Question two: If so, would you agree that our welfare system is a total shambles despite the expenditure of untold trillions of the years.”

            in terms of what? If we had no welfare at all – what would our cities look like – Cairo? Our biggest failure is our education system which is insufficient for everyone but even more so for the economically disadvantaged which are relegated to the worst of the worst schools.

            “Question three: If not, if African Americans are materially better off, than how do you explain the increase in criminality?”

            Young Blacks in WWII got jobs military and manufacturing.. Blacks in the 21st century do not. The manufacturing is gone and they have such abysmal education they cannot even get into the military.

            entitlements are the least of our worries right now – you’re going to end up with parts of major cities no longer safe – for residents or police.

            Do you remember the riots across the country when MLK was killed?

    • A long discussion about a song. Perhaps, though, it reflects peoples’ experience and expresses their frustration?

  2. I like this song

  3. Interesting that there has been no mention of Jesse Matthew. There seem to be a great many compelling allegations that he may have been involved in the deaths of two young white women and an assault on another. His civil rights seem to be protected as the cases work their way through the justice system. No one ever mentioned that he was targeted because of race.

  4. You turn lose 18-year olds with crappy educations and who cannot get jobs.. loose and what do you expect?

    so you send the police – and every now and then a “bad apple” does the wrong thing and savages one of the ‘hood”.. no big deal.. it’s just one bad apple out of a whole force of hero good guys, right?

    do you think none of the other 18 year olds hear about it the bad apple and compare notes of their experiences and their idea of how many bad apples might not match up with the white folks count?

    do you seriously think the 18 yr olds respect and admire the police and are glad they are there to “protect and serve” with their wonderful community policing or do you think they fear the police.. because so many of their friends have been sent to prison for dealing petty street drugs?

    1 in 3 black men will see prison. do you think they know this in the “hood”?

    the right wing – up until this point – for the last few years – has insisted there is no racial divide – that it’s trumped up by race baiters, rabble rousers, etc, etc, blather, blather.

    we insisted on staying in denial. Now that we can’t hide anymore from the truth – the tact shifts to blame it on gangsta rap.. devil music that riles up the natives… it could never be something like no hope for the future because you have a crap education and no job – no hope of a job? … nope.. it’s that gangsta music… polluting their minds..

    One thing is for sure.. we ain’t going to fix this problem by asking white folk … especially Conservative white folk.. it’s a bridge too far – way, way too far.

    • FYI –

      A white man shot dead by Fairfax County police while his hands were up.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/officer-who-shot-john-geer-says-he-moved-hands-toward-waist-3-other-officers-say-no/2015/01/31/7cc2c0da-a7f6-11e4-a06b-9df2002b86a0_story.html

      I guess my five sons and I should grab our weapons and go on the rampage, right LarryG?

      Please post your address so we know where to start.

      More seriously … Bacon has a good point. There are fatal encounters between police and suspects all the time – probably every day. Plenty of the criminals are armed and dangerous. That includes gangstas in the hood and meth addled rednecks in the hollow and miscreant suburban kids in Loudoun County.

      And … plenty of the cops are ass hats. Not all, not most but still plenty. Who hasn’t had an encounter with a pompous policeman who fancies himself or herself some kind of master of the universe?

      The real question is whether the media are presenting the story fairly. The answer is “no” they are not.

      • I’ll tell you what is telling Don.

        that when they poll about perceptions of police and it’s upside down between whites and blacks.

        can you explain that?

        http://www.gallup.com/poll/175088/gallup-review-black-white-attitudes-toward-police.aspx

        do you think it’s a media-induced problem?

        • First, the differences aren’t that striking in some ways. 90% of whites believe the honesty of the police are very high / high / average. That falls to 83% for blacks.

          Whites put police third on a list of 17 institutions for effectiveness, blacks put the police at 7th out of 17. Again, a difference but blacks apparently don’t find the police all that horrible.

          I would be more interested in seeing the data by economic class as well as race. I also wonder about city vs suburban vs rural. I wonder, for example, how the poor whites in southwestern Virginia feel about the police.

          As for media – induced – yes, I do feel that plays a factor. How much coverage have you seen about the man murdered by Fairfax County police? How many articles on local blogs have you read about that bit of police brutality? Maybe (to the media) white lives don’t matter.

      • Maybe you should take this rampage off, I’m sure you guys are still all tuckered out from those post-Super Bowl, post-college football and pumpkin festival related rampages.

        Or maybe you should join up with the people decrying and drawing attention to police brutality. That is, if you care more about police brutality than you care about castigating Black people protesting that brutality.

        • So, it wasn’t police brutality when the Fairfax County cops shot that guy dead on his porch with his hands up in front of his family? And my many comments concerning that bit of police brutality perpetrated very close to my home. Interesting. I guess if that guy had been African-American you’d care. And that makes you a racist.

          As for castigating black people for protesting … really?

          Burning down a senior center built by the Baptist church is protesting? Sorry, I don’t buy that. That’s called rioting or going on a rampage.

          • LifeOnTheFallLine

            “So, it wasn’t police brutality when the Fairfax County cops shot that guy dead on his porch with his hands up in front of his family?”

            Where did I say it wasn’t police brutality? Where? And where did I say I didn’t care? I care about all police misconduct regardless of the victims, and I don’t feel the need to sneer in the faces of people who are out there in the streets because of it.

            My snark was aimed at the fact that when Black people protest and cause property damage because of prolonged police harassment and brutality in their communities the response is to install a curfew and call in the National Guard. If white people turn over cars and bust out store windows because their sports team won/lost of because of pumpkin festival related adrenaline they’re described as “rowdy.”

            If the death of John Geer makes you so mad that you feel the need to burn down a building, go for it. Property is way less important and much less valuable than human life. If you organize a protest movement and the people involved end up needing bail money, legal fees or other supplies set up a donation link and I’ll gladly kick you money just like I have to people in New York, Ohio and Missouri.

            If you feel like Geer’s death isn’t getting enough attention maybe you should go on a rampage. Or maybe you should join up with the group that is out in the streets right now protesting that very same murderous, unaccountable police state.

            But you don’t want to do that. You want to strip all the context away from why the media covers these cases – cell phone video footage of the shootings/chokings, disruptive protest in the streets – and say that because John Geer’s name isn’t on CNN it’s because the media has a bias. Not because the existing evidence and the people who care have failed to make it as eye-catching as the Black Lives Matter movement. Maybe you and your fellow protesters in Fairfax should take a page out of the BLM playbook and bust some windows or chair yourselves to a police station doorway or across a major thoroughfare.

            But to sarcastically suggest that disruptive protest is wrong or counterproductive is to be as ahistorical about this country as one can be. The Founding Fathers – so highly revered – started a long, bloody revolution over improper taxation. The Civil War was fought because half this country refused to evolve its economy past the point that it relied on the ownership of human beings. The Greatest Generation made us the only country in the world to deploy nuclear weapons against other human beings.

            We have done far worse things in this country in the pursuit of less noble goals than the immoral and unjust killings of citizens by their own state.

      • “I guess my five sons and I should grab our weapons and go on the rampage, right LarryG?”

        I hate to put it this way, but that is the republican solution. Heck, they threaten to do that if they lose an election, but that is besides the point.

        The better approach is to find out (1) whether the report is true; (2) if so, suggest remedies; (3) follow through on the remedies.

  5. I just want to ask. If someone has a good paying job – do you think they’re going to be down in the hood chanting gangsta rap with the boys?

    work is human dignity. It’s much, much more than just money.

    not having a job is destructive on one’s own being.. anyone who has been laid off or unemployed – regardless of their race or culture can tell you how debilitating it is – even retired people go into depression when they feel they are not longer useful or productive.

    how we do not see this in the unemployed black men is beyond me.

    all kinds of dysfunctional behavior results of which gangsta rap is little more than an obvious symptom of a much more serious problem.

    they become cynical and become angry and they hate.. and they have nothing to loose.. why is this such a surprise?

    The thing that saved the black man was the Armed Services integrating in WWII and when the men came home – manufacturing jobs and the GI bill to get a home and more schooling.

    what do they have today? they don’t even get a good enough education to qualify to join the Armed Services.. they fail the entrance tests..

    what exactly is an unemployed 18 yr old with a horrible education supposed to do to “pull themselves out of poverty”?

    Without a decent education – they are doomed – and they know it.

  6. Before I get into the meat of the post, I just need to point out that the song you “plucked at random from the Internet” to make your terrible point is actually from the movie Gangsta Rap: The Glockumentary, which was made as a parody of NWA specifically and gangsta rap broadly.

    I’d usually take this moment to point out that it helps if you actually know the group of people that you’re writing about, but in the age of Google this is really inexcusable. Maybe if you didn’t already have caricatures of Black people floating in your mind you wouldn’t have been so quick to be fooled by parody caricatures.

    • Fair enough. I’ll find another example.

    • I’ll take your word for it. I’ve deleted the passage and made a note. I’d fish around for other song lyrics that make the same point but, frankly, I don’t have time. Just view the video clip.

    • Three of your comments:

      “That is, if you care more about police brutality than you care about castigating Black people protesting that brutality.”

      “Maybe if you didn’t already have caricatures of Black people floating in your mind you wouldn’t have been so quick to be fooled by parody caricatures.”

      “You think if the police killed a white man by shooting him in the back on video nothing would happen?”

      First, in reference to the third comment in my list – the police killed a white man standing on his porch with his hands up and nothing has happened. In fact, the Fairfax County police and Board of Supervisors (except Pat Herrity) have done their level best to cover the whole matter up.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/cover-up-in-fairfax-county/2015/02/02/1e7f5262-ab26-11e4-ad71-7b9eba0f87d6_story.html

      Secondly, why do you repeatedly capitalize “Black” but not “white”? Freudian racist slip?

      • “First, in reference to the third comment in my list – the police killed a white man standing on his porch with his hands up and nothing has happened.”

        Let me restate:

        “in the back”

        “on video”

        And getting coverage in on the two most important newspapers in the country is hardly nothing happening. It’s terrible that the government of Fairfax County has felt the need to respond to this in such a grievously immoral fashion and the people bringing attention to this matter deserve applause.

        “Freudian racist slip?”

        It’s not Freudian and it’s not racist.

  7. “Let’s throw out a few facts. Last year, 117 police officers died in the line of duty.”

    And 115 people were killed by police in this country just in the month of March (http://killedbypolice.net/). Were they all good, were they all bad? Who knows, local police departments aren’t required to keep or submit records to any higher body so the 115 number is just the ones that made the news and were grabbed down by the people running this website. It seems to me that the when it comes to encounters between police and citizens, it’s the police who are armed and dangerous.

    And that’s part of the problem that the Black Lives Matter movement wants to see addressed you seem to willfully ignore. Police are running roughshod in this country with little oversight and the communities they’re doing it in with the highest frequency are poor, Black ones. You think if the police killed a white man by shooting him in the back on video nothing would happen? That there would be no move for reforms? Hell, people in this state wanted to dissolve the ABC agents because they frightened poor, little Elizabeth Daly and pulled their guns on her after she hit them with her car.

    • Data is meaningless unless we know the context in which people were killed. One misdemeanant shot in the back while running away is too many — that’s a crime. Criminals resisting arrest and shooting at cops is a very different story.

      Police may well be running roughshod — I think I made it abundantly clear that some police behavior is inexcusable. Your claim that I’m “willfully ignoring” police abuses is ridiculous on its face. Rather, it seems that you’re the one who is willfully ignoring the challenges that police face.

      • “Data is meaningless unless we know the context…”

        I’ll remember that the next time you’re using VAT or SOL scores or whatever else as the newest way to beat teachers across the head and shoulders.

        “Criminals resisting arrest and shooting at cops is a very different story.”

        As stated elsewhere, this isn’t what the Black Lives Matter people are protesting.

        “Rather, it seems that you’re the one who is willfully ignoring the challenges that police face.”

        When the amount of people being killed by police in one month is the same as police being killed in an entire year the numbers bear out that it’s far more dangerous to be a citizen than it is a cop when the police show up. Especially when of the 117 you sited, only 48 were shot.

      • As the grandson of a retired detective let me reply to this one more time…

        “Rather, it seems that you’re the one who is willfully ignoring the challenges that police face.”

        That’s the damn job.

        If they didn’t want to exercise the monopoly on state power and widely be regarded as heroes then they shouldn’t have signed up to put themselves in harm’s way. All of these recent police shootings where the cops’ names have been released: nearly all of them have Facebook groups and online fundraisers for them. Darren Wilson is at least halfway to being a millionaire right now because he killed a Black kid and happened to be wearing a badge at the time.

        Go watch an hour of coverage on CNN on any one of these cases and count the times “not all cops”, “all lives matters,” “a few bad apples,” and so on is repeated. The media covers these incidents as riots while they assure people the people involved in the protests are “thugs” and that the cops either overreacted in the course of a stressful job or is just “one bad apple.”

        Christ, just yesterday CNN showed footage of a town hall meeting and their anchor identified members of Zeta Phi Beta as gang members.

        Mull that over: a mainstream news organization is so quick to identify Black people as miscreants they claimed sisters in a nationally known college sorority were gang members. But it’s the police whose reputations are really at risk here.

    • For what it’s worth, this was a Facebook post of mine from March 19 …

      “Dear Governor McAuliffe:

      Just because our General assembly is useless, worthless and hopeless that does not absolve you from your responsibilities as governor.

      The beating of UVA student Martese Johnson by the Gestapo agents of your ABC board was inexcusable. Mr. Johnson was charged with “resisting arrest, obstructing justice without threats of force”. If he wasn’t even threatening the use of force why did he need to be beaten to a bloody pulp.

      Enough is enough. Abolish the ABC. Get rid of their storm troopers and sell the liquor stores to private interests. The state government in the Commonwealth of Virginia has proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that it cannot be trusted and should be minimized.

      Thank you.

      Note to liberals: Mr. Johnson is an African-American. Unlike some liberals on this board, I believe that all lives matter and that police brutality is unacceptable – no matter the group targeted by that brutality.

    • Off topic, but this made my blood boil. What you said is factually incorrect. Daly pulled her car away AFTER they pulled guns on her and tried to break her windshield with a flashlight. They were in t-shirts, without visible law enforcement identification, and acting erratically and aggressively. At least one other bystander, observing the interaction, called 911 to report it as a possible parking lot attack.

      She did not “hit them with her car”, she brushed them with the car when trying to escape from attacking loonies. No one was injured and no one required medical assistance.

      They did NOT “pull guns on her after she hit them with her car.” That is a grotesque mis-statement of what happened.

      Women (I am assuming you are not a woman) were particularly outraged because Daly DID WHAT POLICE TELL YOU TO DO WHEN YOU ARE NOT SURE SOMEONE IS ACTUALLY LAW ENFORCEMENT – she went to a safe area and called 911. Ironically, a few weeks before this happened, I had been at a safety seminar where an actual police officer, not an ABC cop, told the largely female audience to do exactly what she was charged with felonies for doing.

      Women do get raped and killed by people impersonating law enforcement.

      • Most folks do not know how wide and deep people with police powers ARE these days nor that police culture has changed to be more confrontational and more inclined towards the use of force.

        community policing in a lot of areas is a perversion of he original meaning and intent – it now means essentially a “broken window” stop & frisk -policy to search for drugs or other materials that support a charge.

        If they conducted “community policing” of just stopping people in malls and upscale subdivisions – people would be outraged.. and the practice would stop immediately.

        when it’s done in other venues where there are poor – it’s lauded as an anti-crime tool.

        The police have a culture problem and they’re trying to fix it with PR, stonewalling, and basically lying on their reports – now being exposed and undone by video – not only cellphone but business cameras.

        you can bet – as they get outfitted with body cameras , that we going to see incidents where the camera as “off” or “not working right” .. mark my words.

        it’s not just a few occasional bad apples – it’s a culture of defending the bad apples, protecting them from prosecution, refusing information , no grand jury, no indictment, no prosecution. The police “protect” their bad apples as they continue to stop and frisk for drugs in poor areas which are predominately black while the rural areas are awash in meth labs and the well to do – die in far higher numbers from illegal or fraudulently obtained prescription drugs.

        how many stop and frisk and imprison do we do for marijuana in higher income subdivisions and colleges?

        we have more folks in prison than the rest of the world…

        we put petty drug dealers in prison with violent felons then return the petty drug dealers to the streets after cohabiting years with violent bad guys.

        we have a problem – and it’s the same in most of our urban cities and it’s a simmering and festering problem on the edge of exploding as each new video surfaces. People are not going to stand by any longer as members of their communities are on video showing people savaged and killed in police encounters.

        we’re dealing with the lack of education with police .. and blaming bad teachers and lazy parents..

        You cannot have a civilized society where you have this many people who fail to get an adequate education, cannot find employment – and 1 and 3 end up in prison… for mostly dealing petty street drugs and the like as their only way of making a living.

      • I got cause and effect backwards there, it was a mistake.

        Let’s be clear, Elizabeth Daly suffered no injuries whatsoever. And for the grievous crime of scaring a white woman people were ready to get rid of ABC agents altogether. Never mind that had Elizabeth Daly been black, even “brushing” ABC agents with her car would have likely ended much, much worse than a night in jail and the felony charges summarily dropped. If you doubt that, just look at Martese Johnson’s face.

        I’m not saying Daly did the wrong thing. I think she behaved completely correctly. When Black people run from the cops that behavior is used to justify beating them to death. When white people run from the cops it’s used to show how scared they were and how bad police are. One standard should apply.

        But I’m glad to know that in a conversation that started because of an incident where cops beat a Black man so badly they severed his spine the thing that makes your blood boil is someone misremembering the chain of events that led to a white woman getting a letter of apology from the state and $200,000 after suffering no bodily harm.

        • Actually, yes, you did say that Daly did something wrong – you out and out accused her of assaulting police officers.

          I have teenaged female family members who shop at that Harris Teeter, which is within walking distance of where Morgan Harrington disappeared. Harrington was subsequently found dead and presumably raped.

          At the time of the Daly incident, the Harrington case had no suspect incarcerated – we knew whoever did it was at large. Women and girls were scared. Women being raped and murdered is not the topic here, but avoiding that is actually something I have a personal interest in. You don’t get a pass on blaming people trying not to become victims because other truly awful things – worse things – happen to other people.

          As far as not reacting the way you want, I don’t have useful things to say about the Johnson case. I contacted every person I knew with any kind of influence to express my outrage and my opinion that ABC should have its police powers revoked.

          Do I think Johnson was treated more roughly because he was black? Yes. I think he was unfairly stereotyped and I think he was punished for contempt of cop. Do I think ABC is misusing its police powers for everyone, regardless of race? Yes.

          Re the rest – I don’t know if you read Radley Balko (I do) but overzealous cops have crippled and killed people of all races, including recently an Indian man in Alabama (didn’t speak English, was on sidewalk outside of son’s home, couldn’t answer questions, police officer threw him to ground with hands restrained, broken neck, paralyzed), a child in I think Georgia (flash bang grenade, serious burns, permanent scarring that will require treatment for the rest of his life), various white and black and Asian and Hispanic people shot dead in SWAT raids, etc. Look up Cheye Calvo, if you haven’t heard that story. And he was the mayor.

          I think you are more at risk from police if you’re black, because of perception and stereotyping. But I think there are problems with policing in general.

          BTW, my best guess of what happened with the death is not a beating, but rather something like what happened with the man visiting from India – pushed and could not catch himself because his hands were bound. That is a guess.

          • LifeOnTheFallLine

            “Actually, yes, you did say that Daly did something wrong – you out and out accused her of assaulting police officers.”

            No, I didn’t. I said she hit them with her car, which she did. That she did it was not the wrong thing to do, but it’s a thing she did. If I wanted to accuse her of assaulting police officers those are the words I would have used. And to avoid semantic arguments, let me just say that I don’t think a 3,000-pound vehicle is capable of something as gentle as “brushing.”

            ” You don’t get a pass on blaming people trying not to become victims…”

            Yeah, except that’s not what I did. Here, let me repeat myself since you didn’t feel like reading it the first time:

            “I think she behaved completely correctly. ” If you would stop arguing with me about things I didn’t say you would have many fewer words to type.

            “…but overzealous cops have crippled and killed people of all races…” No one’s saying they haven’t or that they don’t.

            “Look up Cheye Calvo…” who was neither crippled nor killed.

            “I think you are more at risk from police if you’re black, because of perception and stereotyping. But I think there are problems with policing in general.”

            Something we agree on!

      • And women also get raped and killed by actual law enforcement officer, too.

  8. “No one tracks the race of the police assailants, but I would hypothesize — that means I will not state it as fact but offer it as a proposition to be tested with real-world evidence — that a disproportionate number of police assailants are African-American.”

    Hypothesize no longer:

    “There were 511 officers killed in felonious incidents and 540 offenders from 2004 to 2013, according to FBI reports. Among the total offenders, 52 percent were white, and 43 percent were black.”

    “From 1980 to 2013, there were 2,269 officers killed in felonious incidents, and 2,896 offenders. The racial breakdown of offenders over the 33-year period was on par with the 10-year period: 52 percent were white, and 41 percent were black.”

    (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/wp/2015/01/09/are-black-or-white-offenders-more-likely-to-kill-police/)

    I can’t find reliable sources for how often police interact with Black citizens versus white citizens, but since Black inmates represent 37% and white inmates 32% of the United States prison population as of 2013 (Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prisoners in 2013) let’s say they’re encountering Blacks more often than whites (which is a questionable practice in and of itself) and being killed by whites way more often than Blacks.

    “Why would I advance such a conjecture?”

    You really shouldn’t ask questions you don’t want answered.

    • One reason the outsized proportion of Black citizens being forced into interactions with the cops versus their white counterparts is that as the War on Drugs has waged on and on more people have ended up in prison for drug charges – most of them black – even though roughly equal percentages (9.5% for white, 10.5% for Black) report using illicit drugs in the past month.

      (http://www.vox.com/2015/3/17/8227569/war-on-drugs-racism)

    • And then there’s this out of Tampa: http://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/how-riding-your-bike-can-land-you-in-trouble-with-the-cops—if-youre-black/2225966

      Which I don’t recall receiving any national attention despite your premise that the media just hates cops and lives to stoke Black resentment.

    • Thanks for the data. Pretty much as I expected.

    • ” …and being killed by whites way more often than Blacks.”

      The Freudian and (presumably) subconscious racism on display in your capitalization is absolutely fascinating. Maybe, just maybe, you should consider that it’s not so much that some of the white people on this board hate black people as it is that you are a self-loathing liberal who hates white people.

      • burning down senior centers and community CVS is dumb – ignorant – yes.

        how many cities were burned with MLK was killed or Rodney King or – repeat the list of blacks beaten and killed – way more than whites…

        why?

        why are 1 in 3 blacks sent to prison and why do 3/4 of the innocent project subjects -black?

        Finally – if YOU are BLACK – do you think your attitudes about these things are different from Whites especially those who have spent years saying there is no racial divide – it’s a media-induced liberal scheme?

        Confidence in Police:

        a LOT Some none or very little

        whites 59 29 14
        blacks 37 37 25

        a 20 point difference is not a perception problem caused by the media unless one just is in total denial… in my view.

        we have had in the last few years – video after video after video of black folks having the tar beat out of them – and killed..

        can anyone tell me how many videos do we have of white folks getting beaten up?

      • It’s not Freudian and it’s not subconscious. We all have our rhetorical and stylistic flairs. You like to compare ABC agents to Nazi secret police who rounded up dissidents for execution by the German state. I like to spell it Black. You seem to be the only one bothered by it so far, which is fascinating.

        “… it’s not so much that some of the white people on this board hate black people…”

        I’ve not accused anyone on this board of hating Black people. I neither know nor care if they hate Black people. Racist attitudes and beliefs can be held without any particular hatred for a minority group.

        “…you are a self-loathing liberal…”

        I gave up my self-loathing a long time ago. I still haven’t gotten rid of my leftism, though.

        “…who hates white people…”

        Boom! You got me. I hate white people because I recognize the differential treatment minority groups in this country receive compared to their white counterparts.

        Wait, wait, I can’t believe I get to use this phraseology for the first time in my life…

        Some of my best friends are white! I have white family members!

  9. ” It is not without reason that policemen regard every encounter as a possible life-and-death situation and approach it in a state of hyper-vigilance.”

    This is nonsense, the BLS released a list of the 10 most dangerous jobs in the country and LEO didn’t even rank (http://thefreethoughtproject.com/bureau-labor-statistics-released-top-10-dangerous-jobs-report-police-officer/).

    • The failure in your logic: You’re lumping in Andy of Mayberry police with cops in the inner city. Sure, the national average isn’t so terribly dangerous. But the problems are hyper-concentrated in areas representing maybe 5-6% of the population.

      • Police around the country have become more militarized and more willing to use deadly force…

        SWAT teams kick down doors and kill folks pets – by mistake..

        they’re driving up-armored humvee and MRAs and using military-grade weaponry – pointing AR16’s at crowds…

        compare our policing killings with other countries.

        beyond the killings – look at the videos these days with police beating the tar out of people .. even after they are flat on the ground

        it’s not a few bad apples – it’s systemic

        the only reason things have changed – is cell phone videos…

        you read the police report – then view the video and they lie their asses off.

        and what happens to them? the police refuse to release info and the DA doesn’t even charge…

        look at what our own Va ABC guys were doing…

        it’s out of hand – and it more adversely affects those who police believe do
        not have access to effective legal recourse.

      • Is that why more cop killers are white than black? Because they’re going into the inner city to hunt?

  10. You and I must watch very different news channels because I almost never hear about these killings when they happen, only after the legal system has ignored them and people have taken to the street to protest as a result. The only one I can think of that I saw on the news before the protests began was Eric Garner, which had three things going for it as far as being a news story:

    1) It could be tied into the Black Lives Matter movement that originated after the murder of Michael Brown earlier that summer.
    2) There was video footage of a cop choking Garner to death while he stated he couldn’t breathe.
    3) It happened in New York City.

    I guarantee you that before police in Baltimore on Monday corralled a bunch of school children and shut down public transportation, which incited a riot the vast majority of Americans – white and Black – couldn’t have even told you who Freddie Gray was.

    And that’s how the media narrative actually works: ignore the simmer of racist police treatment for years, something boils over when a grave miscarriage of justice happens and the community reacts, then a bunch of talking heads go on television and solemnly shake their heads and decry the violence of the riots.

    “In doing so, the media feeds the sense of grievance among African-Americans…”

    This is the most patronizing crap I’ve read in my life. Black Americans are intelligent, thoughtful and tuned in to their own communities enough to know exactly what’s happening. They’re not stupid. They’re not a mass herd waiting to have their passions inflamed. They’re people, just like white people, and they’re people who have suffered through:

    – Trayvon Martin being killed by a vigilante who got off completely free.
    – Mike Brown being shot dead 150′ away from Darren Wilson’s car. Wilson was later cleared by a grand jury.
    – Tamir Rice being shot instantly at a park bench.
    – Eric Garner being choked to death by a cop who was cleared by a grand jury.
    – John Crawford being shot dead for the grievous crime of holding a toy. The officers involved were cleared by a grand jury.
    – Aiyana Jones is shot dead as she sleeps on her grandmother’s couch by a cop. He claims Jones’ grandmother grabbed the barrel of his gun, although fingerprint analysis later proves this false. He’s back at his job as a cop.
    – Oscar Grant is shot faced down and handcuffed on a BART platform. The BART office who shot him gets involuntary manslaughter.
    – Rekia Boyd was in a crowd of people when an off-duty officer fired from an unregistered 9mm over his shoulder; she was struck and killed by one of the bullets. The officer was cleared of all charges.
    – Eric Harris being shot after he was on the ground by a 73-year-old who paid money to get to play cop as a Reserve Deputy.
    – The 13 Black women raped, sexually assaulted or otherwise molested by officer Daniel Holtzclaw.

    It has nothing to do with the media and everything to do with the fact that these police officers keep coming into Black communities and ruining lives, almost always without consequence. The people living in these cities don’t need a television to tell them what they can hear from their neighbors, friends and family members.

    Meanwhile, white folks show up to defend Cliven Bundy’s welfare cows by pointing firearms at federal agents and nothing bad happens to them. Eric Frein kills one cop and injures another and is captured alive. Eric Rudolph blows up the Atlanta Olympics and is captured alive. Timothy McVeigh blows up a federal building and kills 19 children in the process and is captured alive.

    Tamir Rice is sitting at a picnic table and is shot dead.

    Do you think you would need the media to tell you to be pissed off?

    And, this, by the way is the central thrust of what the Black Lives Matter movement is protesting. They’re not out there marching because of police killing citizens in general – although they certainly should – they’re in the streets because when police kill unarmed black citizens they have no consequences.

    “note the prevalence of guns in the videos”

    What’s your problem with the Second Amendment?

    “but there is nothing comparable in the white underclass.”

    Right! Because it’s right there in the white overclass, who can afford to fund and film movies with anti-social/anti-authority protagonists such as:

    – The Hunger Games
    – Leon: The Professional
    – Falling Down
    – Swordfish
    – Natural Born Killers
    – The Silence of the Lambs
    – Pulp Fiction
    – A Clockwork Orange

    This, of course, says nothing about books like The Turner Diaries, or incidents like G. Gordon Liddy encouraging his listeners to “aim for the head” when dealing with federal agents.

    But please, regale us more with how violent and hypermasculine the Black underclass is compared to the peaceful, genteel white folks. Tell us more about how Black people can’t be trusted to view the media or listen to music without being driven to irrational rage, but white people can make movies and books where killers are the heroes and listen to media figures telling them to take head shots and not be prompted to violent action.

    “Only if we recognize the complexity of the forces of work can we ever hope to have an honest dialogue about race in America.”

    And the only way we can recognize those complexities is if we cite one set of statistics that favor the police’s side of the story and pretend Black communities are populated by children with no impulse control ready to be roused to improper action at a moment’s notice.

  11. Let me repeat the first paragraph of my post:

    “Before people go into conniptions over the politically incorrect thrust of this column, let me make something Hubble telescope clear: I do not condone police brutality toward African-Americans. When incidents occur like the death of Freddie Gray in police custody in Baltimore, the death of Eric Garner on the streets of New York, and most horrifyingly the execution-style slaying of Michael Slager in Charleston, S.C., the facts need to be gathered and police need to be held to account. Police are human. Some make tragic mistakes. Some are no better than criminals themselves. Bad cops need to be demoted, fired or go to prison. And, yes, black lives do matter. All lives matter.”

    All I’m saying is that there’s more to the story. You say there isn’t.

    • I’d say your perception of the situation – is safe to say is not shared by most black folks way beyond the “thugs”. Hearts and minds alienated, not won over.

      you see a series of unrelated unfortunate police events as isolated bad apples that will , after a thorough investigation, see justice done.

      The black community sees it as a systemic pattern of abuse and justice routinely not done but hushed up by the police and a refusal to charge much less prosecute – and this goes on day after day across the country with police forces that now look and operate more like military forces patrolling streets.

      what’s exposing – this – is video… but even then – it appears the police do not want to release info – to “protect” the officers and give them fair justice – that the guy on the video obviously did not get.

      invariably – it is not the police confronting a gang of thugs – but one lone guy who got separated out of the herd, and then got the tar beat out of him even as he laid on the ground.

      the police report cites a grave threat and a refusal to cooperate.

      the video shows something entirely different – over and over.. each time.

      the police say the video does not tell the whole story but then they won’t provide more info either beyond defending their actions and demanding proper justice for the police while the guy lies in a hospital or casket.

      the people who are the subject of these abuses as well as the people who view the videos do NOT see the police as protecting and serving but rather invaders and occupiers who use violence to intimidate … to control

      i.e. : “don’t mess with us or we’ll ruin your day -big time” when we find you by yourself…

      we see this way beyond “community policing” now. we see it via dash cams on ordinary traffic stops that go bad – more “isolated” bad apple incidents – happening continuously…

      It’s ironic – the poor are finally getting some semblance of justice – not from the system – but from technology.

    • You care so much you can’t be bothered to get it right that Walter Scott was MURDERED BY Michael Slager.

      The city of Baltimore has paid out $5.7M in police brutality cases since 2011. How often was that on the nightly news? But I guess it’s a tough, dangerous job and they didn’t have access to a pillow to punch to blow off steam.

      You can pretend this is the media’s fault for not telling enough cops are great stories all you want, but these grievances and resentments are real and existed in places like Ferguson, MO long before a camera ever showed up.

      You say you think bad cops should be demoted, fired and sent to prison but in the face of that not happening you think Black people should just sit quietly on their hands. If only they had a real threat to face – like taxation without representation – then they could destroy property and kill English soldiers.

      But it’s the media’s fault there’s distrust in the Black community toward the police. Not a history running all the way back to slave patrols through the Red Summer through Bull Connor and fire hoses through the murderers of Emmett Till going free through thr FBI with the Chicago Police assassinating Fred Hampton through Rodney King and on and on and on until you get Freddie Gray with a severed spine that no one can seem to account for. Never mind that you could walk in to any Black neighborhood in this country and find multiple stories of police harassing residents without cause.

      But we’re the ones oversimplifying the story because we refuse to take a hard look at how the media doesn’t pat cops on the back often enough and that confuses poor, ignorant Black people who have listened to too much gangsta rap.

      • I think Jim comes from a different place. I’d ask where he was and what he was doing during events like MLKs murder or Massive Resistance, or the Loving Issue or the Birmingham and Freedom Marches… the bombing of churches and killing of civil rights activists..

        was he aware ? did he have an opinion about those events – no now – back when they happened.

        Did he grow up going to integrate schools? Did his circle of friends include blacks? Did he socialize with blacks? Did he go to their weddings and funerals , etc?

        What did he think of the opposition to the Vietnam war that then morphed into a rights issue for blacks – and women?

        we come from different places and it very much shapes our opinions now.

        we have had and continue to have two different racial worlds with totally different perspectives – looking at the same exact circumstances.

        that’s what the polls show.. especially on the role of police , criminal justice, equity, access to good education, jobs, etc.

        • I’m sure for at least some of that he was on the Lawn all decked out in seersucker drinking an ice tea wondering when all this unpleasantness was finally going to end.

          • that’s a harsher way of putting it..

            some of us just grew up – apart for these issues.

            it seems in conceivable but it’s largely true.

            My wife never knew about a lot of this as she grew up – the TV got switched and the newspaper recycled quickly .. it was only later – looking back – she realized that news had been “censored” .. was not discussed at her house.. even when MLK got murdered and riots were nationwide – she never saw it – although she caught glimpses but did not understand the whys behind it.

            I have friends who lived through these events – like Massive Resistance and it’s not even a blip on their memory cells..

            we just come from different places – and as a result – unfortunately we have differing perspectives of realities…

          • LifeOnTheFallLine

            Harsh? Are you serious? I put him in seersucker. Seersucker is awesome!

            People come from different places and I dig that. Even as a kid I was super into politics and I had a lot of friends that were as well. I’ve bounced around both sides of the political spectrum from a fairly staunch conservative in my teens until where I am now.

            But to whom much is given much is required. If you’re the recipient of a world class education then you need to deliver something better than glib dismissals of “depraved because deprived” and “It was the music!”

        • some whites today don’t know what all the black fuss is about, just like their parents didn’t know what all the black fuss was about during segregation, just like their parents didn’t know what all the black fuss was about during Jim Crow and the Black Codes, just like their parents didn’t know what all the black fuss was about during slavery.

  12. As to why Black criminality is going up:
    http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/05/dont-fear-the-Urban-americas-crime-drops-to-lowest-in-40-years/239366/

    It isn’t. Crime rates are falling across America. In the cities. In the suburbs. In the towns and hollers. Unfortunately, perception doesn’t match reality. I wonder what role the totally not conservative media plays in that.

    • Conservative media plays the reduced crime rate on mass incarceration and hints that it’s still not enough cuz there are still “thugs” out there…

      It’s fascinating switching back and forth between FOX , MSN, and CNN on the coverage but a lot of the right-wing blogs words and views are nothing short of breathtaking… There is a significant number of people who are rabid about the race issue. It’s not gone away -at all. It was submerged – and the internet has brought it back out in full flower.

      • That’s hilarious: crime rates are falling because we’re putting more people in prison, which would either require MORE crime or harsher sentencing for current levels of crime.

        Racism in this country will never go away. When your starting premise is that Black people are only 3/5 human it’s hard to convince people otherwise later.

    • http://www.demos.org/blog/7/29/13/myth-black-black-crime-epidemic

      More data showing a drop in the violent crime rate among Black citizens.

    • You’re implying that I think otherwise. You imply incorrectly.

  13. It really, really worries me when I agree with Larry. It remains largely about education and economic opportunity and the fact that too many of the young men in those neighborhoods are totally alienated.

    Baltimore passed another peaceful night. This is not another Watts, where dozens were actually killed. Cooler heads and assertive mothers (wasn’t she just marvelous?) have prevailed. But if 50 years from now a substantial percentage of any group of young males (black, white, Bosnian) are unemployed, unemployable because of education or criminal records, unmarried and unable to see a path to economic security, the same thing could happen. The Prez was right — this is nothing new. But I’ll say this — whatever we’ve been doing for 50 years, it hasn’t worked. Time to try something else.

  14. READER ALERT: Larry G and Life on the Fall Line so routinely impute words and views to me that any “dialogue” on my part would consist of trying to set the record straight. That’s not much of a dialogue. While they do raise a number of interesting points that would be worth debating, those points are buried under so much misattribution that I’m going to bow out.

  15. Let’s see:

    1. It was acceptable to beat Rodney King to a pulp because a couple of the 100 or so (exaggeration to be sure) cops beating him could detect movement;

    2. In NYC, during Giulliani’s reign an unarmed man was shot 41 times and noone was punished. For that matter, another one was raped with a broomstick in the police station and noone was punished;

    3. A man in NYC, who did not pay cigarette taxes, is strangled to death using a procedure outlawed 20+ years ago, and noone goes to jail;

    4. A woman in Fairfax county who is handcuffed is tasered four (4) times and dies as a result, and it is ruled accidental! Assuming the police could not control her, perhaps they should have let her tire herself out or fallen asleep!

    5. Now we told that the man in Baltimore may have broken his own spine! I seem to recall satires, with Chaplin I believe, like that.

    Too be sure the police have to deal with difficult situations. But it seems that accountability is lacking. Eventually the cup fills and overflows. That means that the fault is not with the rioters but the authorities. In other words, the immediate corrective action is to make sure that the police who abuse their authority (and that includes turning off cameras – remember the situation in MO?) are punished – with jail time among the rest of the population. But the effective remedy is to reply to Pope Francis: ‘When I help the poor they call me a saint; when I ask why they are poor they call me a communist’.

    By the way, not one banker paid even a fine for the collapse in 2008. And Petraeus got off with just a fine for giving away secrets. But teachers who helped students cheat got 7 year prison terms.

    I guess they should have shot the students.

    • Waste of a conversation. Folks like NoVa will cry foul and call others out for racism. If Fred didn’t have a nice long rap sheet, and was compliant with the directives of police, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. Same with Michael Brown, BUT… also the same for the Caucasian that makes the same choices. There were more than 400 Caucasians killed by police last year, almost double that of blacks. I had to turn off the video when I heard that race-baiting pastor deliver Freddie’s eulogy, trying to paint him as a representative of all black men and their problems with the police. Stupid. Maybe we should begin a national discussion about making good choices in life and overcoming the bad choices others in our lives have made instead of allowing race-baiters to take charge of the conversation.

      • you’re not allowed to kill people because they make bad choices and are not “compliant” – and are poor and black.

        Did police beat the crap out of 400 non-compliant white folks before they ended up killing them for making bad choices ?

        • Well Larry, your response is typical, just like I said. 27 years of working with employees of all kinds of backgrounds is good enough for me. I’m content being involved in solving the problem; I get to help those in my sphere of influence deal with the issues that create problems in today’s society. I’ll let you stick to the guilt inspired sensationalized fiction that many liberals hold on to so dearly.

          • I think my question is – do we think black men dealing street drugs get the same justice that other criminals get?

            beyond my sarcasm.. that’s the question.

            do you think they do?

            do you think black people think so also?

      • what was Mr. Gray guilty of:

        being a serial murderer or rapist? a predator in his community?

        had he molested kids or sold young girls into prostitution?

        Had he beheaded people or hijacked airliners?

        had he done what Bernie Madoff did or Abrahoff or McDonnell did?

        was he a crime boss who ordered hits and kneecapped those who
        did not pay their loans?

        did he do what the Secret Service guys and BATF did?

        did he torture people in Abu Grieve or give US secrets to his Mistress

        what exactly where is “bad choices” that led to him dying?

        well – here it is:

        March 20, 2015: Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance
        March 13, 2015: Malicious destruction of property, second-degree assault
        January 20, 2015: Fourth-degree burglary, trespassing
        January 14, 2015: Possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute
        December 31, 2014: Possession of narcotics with intent to distribute
        December 14, 2014: Possession of a controlled dangerous substance
        August 31, 2014: Illegal gambling, trespassing
        January 25, 2014: Possession of marijuana
        September 28, 2013: Distribution of narcotics, unlawful possession of a controlled dangerous substance, second-degree assault, second-degree escape
        April 13, 2012: Possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute, unlawful possession of a controlled dangerous substance, violation of probation
        July 16, 2008: Possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession with intent to distribute
        March 28, 2008: Unlawful possession of a controlled dangerous substance
        March 14, 2008: Possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to manufacture and distribute
        February 11, 2008: Unlawful possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of a controlled dangerous substance
        August 29, 2007: Possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute, violation of probation
        August 28, 2007: Possession of marijuana
        August 23, 2007: False statement to a peace officer, unlawful possession of a controlled dangerous substance
        July 16, 2007: Possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute, unlawful possession of a controlled dangerous substance (2 counts)

        NOW – 1 in 3 “compliant” black men will go to prison for their bad choices – – do you think their rap sheet looks like Freddies or Ted Kaczynski or Timothy McVeigh or Eric Rudolph’s – or James “Whitey” Bulger many killings?

        so it’s not the severity of the crime – it’s whether you were “complaint” or not..

        someone who kills 168 people – as long as he is “compliant” will be treated with respect and dignity -and not have the tar beat out of them for THEIR “bad choices”….

        someone who deals petty street drugs – if not “compliant” has crossed the bad choice line – which entitles the police to savage you?

        yessireee

        those bad choices – you better know the difference between right ones and wrong ones – cuz some of them will get you killed..for sure.

        whoa! I think I’m getting a whiff of something pretty fetid.. here..

      • Remind me again which of the crimes on Freddie Gray’s rap sheet is – by law – punishable by being beaten so bad it severs your spine?

      • I suppose I place too high a value on human life. I believe that there must be a very good reason to take it.

        I also place a high value on accountability. I am also very watchful of those who have the POWER! It’s too tempting to use it.

        If you think that is just crying ‘foul’, so be it.

        PS: I do not care not reference race or religion or … anything else here. It is strictly about being vigilant towards those with power, and holding them accountable.

        • I pretty much agree with most of NoVaShenandoah thinking.

          we have way too much latitude for the police and way too little accountability and consequences for wrong behaviors.

          • NoVaShenandoah

            larryg, thank you for the support. But I am vigilant towards those who have power. That does include the police, but we must all recognize that they are merely the tools.

          • NoVaShenandoah – I note that Congress is still leaning towards allowing the NSA to bulk-collect phone data – while McAuliffe is going in the opposite direction on bulk license-plate data

            and where are the freedom and liberty tea pots on these issues.???

  16. It seems the tactic of giving rioters space is working in Baltimore. What you do not need is a harsh, overly-military approach and I believe that soldiers would be the first to tell you this.

    ALso, there should be more discussion on forgotten community policing efforts. I haven’t covered cops in years but I do remember whenI did in the 1970s in Tidewater at The Virginian-Pilot. I think I covered all four city PDs at some point.

    My takeaway was that inner city cops such as those in Norfolk and Portsmouth were savvier when it came to handling inner city people and potential riotous situations. They would try to stay cool and keep things cool.

    Cops in white areas of Virginia Beach and Chesapeake back then were more cowboys and tried to project more machismo.

    • A good indication of the changes are the TV shows. Pretty much since 9/11, when the police go to make an arrest they are part of a heavily armed SWAT team who just kick the doors down and shoot anything in sight.

      Contrast that with TV from the 70s or 80s. The attitude and representation is totally different.

      • I think one of the more obscene viewpoints is to say that police that are accused of killing someone get “justice”and full due process – innocent until found guilty
        – the “justice” the dead person never got.

        the other is the view that even after we’ve watched this systematic harsh treatment of people go on for a number of years – widespread – across the nation – from LA to Baltimore…..

        it’s still characterized as a series of unique and isolated bad apples and not a pattern.

        and don’t get me wrong – when a police officer walks from his car to the car in front of him – he/she is risking their life – every time – and there are, in addition to the petty drug folks – vicious and violent scum ..that need to be put away.

  17. A very lively conversation! I will make these observations about the different types of crime we have:

    1. Greed – we actually reward it. Not one of the bankers who threw the economy into recession has even paid a dime. That said, if you manage to deprive them of some of their pennies (think Abramoff) you go to a country club jail for a while;

    2. Passion – not much you can do about that, but it’s always useful for grandstanding;

    3. Need – We really, truly, seriously come down on that! Afterall, it threatens most of ‘proper’ society. And reading the posts here and elsewhere, there is precious little empathy for those in need.

  18. we’re totally confused on our drug laws in this country.

    Most of Europe has nothing like our laws – and yet, despite predictions of a zombie population on entitlements – the Europeans clean our clocks on K-12 academic performance.

    then in this country -we have draconian policies on drugs and a permanent unemployed, under-educated under-class that rank academically with academic performance of 3rd world countries.

    This is the US – the country that prides itself on manifest destiny and exceptionalism … more people in prison than the rest of the world, riots in our cities – and a refusal to deal with education … of the under-class.

    we’re “exceptional” okay – but in denial of realities and neanderthal attitudes towards producing an employable workforce to compete head-to-head with those drug-zombie, “socialist” OECD countries.

    How did we get this screwed up? Our primary product these days is denial of the realities…whether it’s drug policy, education, immigration, health care, and marriage…

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