Use a stopwatch to understand how much you can do in 14 seconds. Run the length of a football field. Kiss someone for several seconds after listening to the 10-second countdown on New Year’s Eve. Fourteen seconds is how long it took Officer Van Dyke to fire 16 shots into the body of Laquan McDonald. In those 14 seconds, it does not appear that even one of the officers at the scene tried to stop Van Dyke from continuing to fire.
Ok, here's the deal -- back when my husband was a cop in Gering, NE (40 years ago) EVERY cop on that force (in a city of 20,000) was issued a BULLET-PROOF VEST and told to wear it EVERY TIME THEY REPORTED FOR DUTY! If cops 40 years ago were required to wear bullet-proof vests then it's for damned sure they are wearing them now, and that means this BULLSHIT about "being afraid for their lives" is a BALD-FACED LIE! I.E.: The Barney Fifes on police forces today shoot immediately b/c THEY KNOW THEIR LIVES ARE NEVER IN DANGER AND THEY CAN KILL WITH IMPUNITY!
Add to the aggression as policy - civil forfeiture
Police Civil Asset Forfeitures Exceed All Burglaries in 2014
I think all police, even good ones, need periodic sensitivity training to counteract the us vs. them attitude that comes from continually seeing people at their worst.
Sad to say, but until American society gets fundamental about the real causes of the marginalization and oppression of racial minorities extra-judicial killings by police officers of minority youth will continue to happen. No amount of "training" or technology will alter the fact that the police are doing no more than picking up on the political logic of racial formation in contemporary American society. A movement called "Black Lives Matter" has sprung into existence precisely because black lives don't matter! Blacks and Latinos are living in the American nightmare, for reasons both historic and modern. The undying force of racism shows that blacks are still being made to wear the "badge of slavery." In other words, African Americans are still considered an inferior, degraded and untouchable group. Then again, the impact of post-industrial capitalism on African American communities has been devastating: African Americans barely got a foothold in the old Fordist economy, but no sooner did blacks get in on the Fordist compact (whereby labor compromised with management in return for "good wages" and benefits) than the capitalists decided that the decided that the deal was off. They moved their factories to Mexico, China, etc, etc, leaving behind the bombscapes of Detroit, Cleveland, Youngstown, Gary, etc, etc.
Police Officers are well aware, as they go about their business in America's ghettos, that poor people of color do not count in the real census of American community, based on money and property. The officers understand that their job is to keep "the animals in line," and they behave accordingly, like lion tamers, with guns instead of whips. Because the United States is well on the way to becoming a police state, police criminality can now happen against anybody, black or white, rich or poor, male or female. But we haven't yet reached the point where officers feel that they can gun down middle class white people with total impunity. But perhaps we are getting there. Certainly the police are less respectful than yesteryear of the "rights" of the white working class, some of whom catch hell from Officers, who hate all "low lifes," "losers," and "scum on the streets."
As American society lurches inexorably towards the Third World Model of a Few Rich and Many Poor, we can expect to see the police continue in their murderous ways, as repression will be more and more called for.
Americans don't see it like this, but US police forces have more in common with police forces in countries like Mexico, Columbia and Brazil than they do with police forces in Europe. In Mexico, for example, the police are widely seen as corrupt. Ordinary citizens are fearful of the police. They know well that the power to enforce the law is also the power to abuse it. And the police routinely cover for each other. The culture of the force in a place like Chicago has much in common with Mexican policing. It's getting easier everyday to see this.
In Mexico there systemic corruption but it helps to see where it all leads to. Many people pay bribes to the Police to look the other way or not press charges for an alleged crime not so much out of fear as because the higher up the chain a case goes the more bribes they have to pay.
A cop catches you driving drunk in Mexico. The choice becomes pay the Cop now or pay the judges lawyers and everyone else who gets his finger in the pie later. The rot in those Police forces starts from the top and works its way down just as it does in the USA. As such it less a issue with just the police and more an issue that permeates the entire Government.
If murder charges against that cop were laid almost immediately, maybe someone could argue that this was just one bad apple.
And there definitely needs to be an investigation into the officers who went into that Burger King and deleted 87 minutes of footage from their security cameras.
Proverb "If what you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail."
I think a rewrite that the methods you have influence how you look at the problem.
Protesters in Chicago are demanding the resignation of the mayor and police chief, Federal intervention and a lot more training and supervision of the police force. Those are the methods available. Will this solve the problem? Judging by what I expect the reaction to be at the next black killed by a policeman (particularly if by a white policeman) .... No.
So, thinking more broadly, what might work? Ideas solicited. Here are a few.
* The neighborhood wants the old standard of justice, of 'blood for blood'. It doesn't matter if the killing was 'justified'; if a black man dies, then the person who killed him must be punished. Skip the trial and go straight to the sentencing.
* The neighborhood wants to define its own law, and to select its own policers. This would be consistent with the idea of 'de-policing' that has been talked about for a few months. There are further consequences, to be discussed later. ...
The 14 seconds it took to commit the murder/execution of Laquan McDonald are telling, but the 13 months, 400 days, Chicago officials worked hard to hide the truth of the original crime is more to the point it seems to me.
Immediately after the killing, video evidence (Burger-King) was deleted and destroyed, audio of the crime never released and perhaps deleted, and all involved in the conspiracy to cover-up the crime had 13 months to get their stories straight and concoct stories why no other crimes were committed and no other persons complicit to this murder/execution!
The Chicago Mayors office refused to release the dash-cam murder video until forced. DA Alvarez was complicit/derelict not bringing charges until forced, and then only against the shooter, the CPD allegedly destroyed video evidence, intimidated witnesses, fabricated the transparently absurd reason for the failure of ALL squad-cars at the scene to record audio of the murder video! The FBI has yet to release any report or official public statements on the scope of their investigation and what results they have found. All represent Chicago politics at their worst! ALL involved in the cover-up, those that supposedly "investigated" and those who remained silent after viewing the murder video are all complicit and/or derelict!
There have been more than a few "softball" commentaries on this heinous murder and cover-up conspiracy, notably from Chicago, from those apparently in fear for their futures, but any from outside the sphere of corrupt Chicago Daley-politics influence that fail to ask the hard questions and demand specific answers and documents to specific cover-up/conspiracy questions/charges are just part of it....IMO.
What has been happening in Chicago for years if not decades? The police are doing whats expected of them-protect the wealthy----Why do you think nothing happens until these police actions become public? Look at how extensive the cover up was-no one in power cared until it became public! The job of Obama and "black Leaders" like Jesse Jackson and the police is to keep people in line.