Monday Reads: Giuliani and other Tools for a Police StatePosted: December 22, 2014
I’m going to be very personal and very open with you today because of something Rudy Giuliani said over the weekend. He accused the president of ‘anti-police’ propaganda. As a person who doesn’t trust the police at all, I would like to say my feelings have nothing to do with the President, Eric Holder or whatever scapegoat Giuliani and his right wing friends can find. It is because of the police themselves. It is because of what I’ve witnessed, what I’ve gone through, and what I’ve known to happen to others. I live in New Orleans, and my guess is that my experience is not all that different from any one living in an urban area like me.
I’ve seen it all and I’ve experienced it. People are fed up with out of control policing and it’s not because of anything any politician has said. Police departments have brought all of the criticism, protest, and mistrust onto themselves.. This does not mean that police deserve to be gunned down or to be the victims of violence. However, I’m not surprised to see things escalate when justice is unavailable to so many. The crazed few always start acting out the frustrations of the many. You see, the American dream should not include places where you are more afraid of the people paid to protect you than you are of most anything else or where things are so unfair that your already deranged mind can follow martyrdom to some extreme awful end. I am completely saddened by the deaths of the two Brooklyn Police officers. But, their deaths should not be used as an excuse to give bad policing and bad police officers a pass. Their deaths should also not lead to political chest beating and police state jingoism. What we should realize is that we’ve got a broken criminal justice system and it needs to be fixed so that it turns no one into victims. I’m tired of being afraid of the police which is a place I’ve personally been for over 5 years now. Obama didn’t make me feel this way.
The last time I got called for Jury Duty was the first time I really didn’t think I could do it and not because it inconvenienced me. The first day I got called in to serve I was selected for the voire dire of a case where a public defender who had been a friend of mine for some time was defending a man accused of sexual battery on the minor daughter of his girlfriend. Normally, I would be DA’s dream of a juror. When they got to me and asked I if there was any reason why I shouldn’t sit on the Jury I basically said, well , the defendant’s attorney is a friend but there’s another reason too. That was enough to get me taken off to the Judge’s chambers where they asked if being his friend would distort my ability to be neutral. I laughed and said no. That wasn’t it at all. I know him well but I also know that his job is to provide a decent defense for whomever and that didn’t mean he was character witness for his client at all. Normally, as an older,educated white woman with daughters, I’d probably give any accused child rapist a jaundiced eye. If anything, any friendly feelings I had towards my friend would probably make me be more neutral towards the case. So, what was my problem?
I told the prosecuting attorneys and the Judge that I don’t trust a damned thing any cop says and if you’re going to make your case on their testimony then forget it. I don’t think I could take it at face value at all.
That was a bit of surprise statement to about all concerned up to and after I told them my story. I’d never seen two prosecutors so wide-eyed before. About a year before, I was arrested and charged for being drunk and for fighting. Just being in that courthouse surrounded by uniformed police had me on the verge of tears and panic. What really happened was I was assaulted in front of lots of witnesses by a drug dealer on parole from Federal Prison. The arresting officer was right there watching him beat me up and doing nothing. I wasn’t drunk either and begged cop after cop for a breath test. I had broken ribs in my back and bruises on the back side of my arms from being in the crouched, defensive position taught to any one that’s been trained for any kind’ve protest training. I was jackbooted. The emergency room doctor actually volunteered to tell any one he could that I had been brutally beaten and there were no signs of anything but defensive wounds. I was sent to a neurologist to ensure I didn’t have permanent damage it was so bad. I went straight from the jail to the emergency room to the internal affairs office. The last two entities had plenty of pictures of my damage and I made damned sure they talked to the doctor and had access to the xrays. I did everything I needed to to ensure I could get justice for this. I never did.
At one point during the attack, I had actually managed to escape to a back yard to dial 911 when a visiting Canadian friend tried to get the thug off of me. I was on the 911 phone call for like 15 minutes and when I was told they were there to help me, I went out to flag the patrol car down. The cop flagged them away and arrested me. He threatened to arrest all the folks that were trying to tell him what had really happened too. I was driven around for some time while all the cops in question were trying to figure out how to dump me in jail to teach me a lesson for letting slip to the drug dealer that the cop had been banging his girlfriend for years. This drug creep also used to brag in the bars about beating folks up for the cop too. I have no record. I have privileged status in a lot of ways. I’m white and I’m educated and I had money for a lawyer and bail. But, none of this protected me from the police department that day or from the absolute nonsense “investigation” that followed after I filed a complaint.
I had seen this same cop shake down a local prostitute for blow jobs for rookies on the trunk of a black and white not too long before that. He was well known for shaking down the pros in the area for his own personal pleasure. Nearly everyone in the neighborhood had a story on this cop. I knew that while the drug dealer was in prison and before that his girl friend–a nonstop pot smoker–was banging the cop and had to be smoking nonstop then too. Basically, he picked and chose when to adhere to the law. He was–and probably still is–the very picture of an out of control cop. I filed a complaint that was investigated and it eventually cleared him of any wrongdoing . It stated that he did everything right. He was arrested about six months later in the parish across the canal on domestic battery and for spitting at a Parish Deputy who was trying to arrest him. I told the sergeant who took my interview at the time that the guy was angry, a drunk, and would eventually get into deeper trouble than this. I also told him that he needed help and that it would only get worse if they continued to ignore him. And, ask the parish deputy. It got worse. But, he’s still patrolling the French Quarter now. Heaven help any of you that get in the way of his little schemes.
Those of you that have known me some time know this story and a lot more of the gory details. You also know that I spent one very long night in New Orleans Parish Prison surrounded by lots of people arrested for “black while” and “hispanic while” and that was enough to convince me to never ever believe a police officer again. It didn’t even take the sham of an investigation to do that. I couldn’t even convince one police officer that I wasn’t drunk and that I needed medical attention as I was beaten by a man much larger than myself. The arrest report he wrote eventually came back that I had slugged the girl friend. I’m a Buddhist. I don’t even step on bugs. I would do no such thing. I was jackbooted pure and simple because I had the audacity to ruin his good thing by answering a question drunk and honestly one night.
The NOPD is under the care and tutoring of the Attorney General and the Justice Department for all kinds of violations of civil rights. They deserve to be. I frankly believe the entire lot of them should’ve been brought up on RICO charges because that’s the law that applies to a group of people that conspire to commit crimes. I would like you to know that not one of the “thugs” and the “thug” cop that I dealt with was black so no one reading this can reach conclusions that shouldn’t be there from their little corners of white privilege world. Again, Rudy Giuliani and others need to know that my feelings towards the police have nothing to do with the President or any politician and my guess it that any one that’s seen what I’ve seen, knows what I know, and been through what I’ve been through thinks similarly . You cannot possibly live within the borders of a large city that is populated with diverse peoples and not really feel this way unless you’re gated up with a lot of privileged white people. Not all police officers are rotten but the system and good cops protect the rotten ones. This makes them accessories and under most criminal laws, it makes you guilty of something. If you think all cops are wonderful, you must live in a suburban enclave with mostly white people where police never ever go or where they only show up when the odd little inconvenience happens. You could not possibly live in place where whites are the minority. You could not possibly live in parts of town where they feel they can get away with anything. You’ve probably never ever lived in a place and time where you’ve been dive bombed by black helicopters and drones and felt like you’ve lived in the middle of a war zone for extended periods of time because of the presence of highly militarized police. I’ve lived in both circumstances. If you don’t think being white gives you a big ol’ pass in the world of policing, then you’ve really lived a very sheltered life.
I do know one exception, however, and it’s a doozy. It’s what happened to my daughter when in high school in suburban Omaha right after the Justice department was looking at the cops there for arresting too many black people. They decided to fix their stats and went after white kids. She got picked up once for a curfew violation walking from a friend’s house to the house next door one evening. She also got picked up for minor in possession when a boyfriend got pulled over for speeding in a pick up truck who had a six pack locked up in metal box in the truck bed that she didn’t even know was there. Of course, my charges and my daughter’s charges were dropped. They both were basically for effect. I was not to interfere with whatever scam the cop in the neighborhood had running and she served as a number to prove that Omaha cops really aren’t targeting black people. And, this occurred prior to the Obama presidency. So, in this case, the solution for stopping and frisking black kids was to do the same to white kids. I was relieved when she left that reign of terror and went to LSU, believe me.
I still have panic attacks when I see police officers. I can’t see this ever changing. I can’t say that I’m going to ever go to jury duty and not tell a judge that you do not want me on any jury because my assumption will be that the police are guilty of something.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is condemning President Barack Obama for anti-police “propaganda” in the wake of the murders of two New York City police officers in Brooklyn.
When asked on “Fox News Sunday” if he had ever seen the city he once governed so divided, Giuliani shook his head and said, “I don’t think so.”
Giuliani said blame rests on “four months of propaganda,” which he said started with Obama, “that everybody should hate the police.” He said the nationwide protests against several recent police-involved deaths lead to one conclusion: “The police are bad. The police are racist. They’re wrong.”
Police, Giuliani said, are “the people who do the most for the black people in America, in New York City and elsewhere.”
On Sunday, Obama spoke out against the killing of the police officers Saturday, saying there is no justification for the slayings.
“The officers who serve and protect our communities risk their own safety for ours every single day — and they deserve our respect and gratitude every single day,” Obama said in a statement. “I ask people to reject violence and words that harm, and turn to words that heal — prayer, patient dialogue, and sympathy for the friends and family of the fallen.”
No one should be calling for dead cops or any kind of blood shedding. As the old cliche goes, two wrongs do not make a right. Most of us who feel negatively towards the police really don’t want to feel that way. Really, who do you think I want to call if I need help? The Ghostbusters? I came to my panic attacks and mistrust through experience. Something is very rotten in the criminal justice system from a county attorney that can purposefully suborn perjury, to a criminal or insane person that can get easy access to powerful guns to use on the rest of society, to a police official that thinks its a bad deal that his Mayor needs to enforce what the court orders and in doing so, accuses him of endangering the lives of police. As long as there is easy access to guns in this country, we all are in danger. Police are not exempt from the actions of the criminally insane.
“There’s blood on many hands tonight,” Patrick Lynch, president of the largest police union, said late Saturday. “Those that incited violence on the street in the guise of protest, that tried to tear down what New York City police officers did every day. We tried to warn it must not go on, it shouldn’t be tolerated. That blood on the hands starts at the steps of City Hall in the office of the mayor.”
Although New York is a city where Democrats outnumber Republicans by more than 6 to 1, de Blasio is its first Democratic mayor in 20 years and his stewardship of the city is being watched nationally as a test of unabashedly liberal leadership. After his landslide victory, he declared, “Make no mistake. The people of this city have chosen a progressive path. And tonight we set forth on it together, as one city.”
But really, how can we expect them to change? They’ve even complained about court ordered changes to the way they operate. This is going to be a long and enduring struggle.
Former Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, a champion of NYPD stop-and-frisk tactics that were found unconstitutional, on Tuesday blasted Mayor de Blasio’s decision to drop the city’s appeal of that ruling.
“Every indication is [that] if the appeal were allowed to go forward, it would have been reversed, and it’s a shame Mayor de Blasio did that, because I think people will suffer,” Kelly said on WNYC-FM’s “Brian Lehrer Show” Tuesday.
Stop-and-frisks have since decreased, and Kelly, the top cop under Mayor Mike Bloomberg, suggested the city may now be seeing a negative effect on crime.
What’s going on right now is an indication that the criminal justice system in this country is broke. It is VERY broke. We have extremely high incarceration rates. The patterns of incarceration are telling. The incredible use, manner and patterns of police force against the mentally ill, against unarmed citizenry, and against racial minorities indicates something is very wrong. The number of people–like me–whose stories detail police abuse should tell you something. Instead, we have groups of folks in the media, in government, and in law enforcement that seem put out by exercise of first amendment rights. What do they expect when police are armed and act like an occupying army and focus on protecting their own rather than protecting and serving whatever community is their beat. Which police officer do you trust when it’s obvious the system jumps to defense of its extremely rotten eggs?
So, here I am, and I’m telling judges and prosecuting attorneys that I won’t serve on a jury because I can’t honestly say I’d believe anything brought to the court by the police as evidence. I would be hard pressed to believe any police testimony. This is me; the mother of two daughters. I walked away from sitting on the jury of an accused child rapist because I wouldn’t feel comfortable making any decision based on the criminal justice system and the police investigation. What does that say to you? What should it say to the likes of Rudy Giuliani?
I’ll leave you with something to give you a belly laugh. This is the actual holiday card coming from our governor. It’s not photo-shopped. It’s not from The Onion. Just have a really good belly laugh at the expense of those idiots in the state of Louisiana that voted for this pandering, self-loathing governor of mine who is whoring himself to the Duck Dick enthusiasts wherever they may skulk with their knuckles dragging and their heads up their asses.