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Rochester Police Accused of 'Unnecessarily Aggressive Behavior' During Protest Over Killing of Daniel Prude

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/09/04/rochester-police-accused-unnecessarily-aggressive-behavior-during-protest-over

It seems to mean that we are asking police to handle social service issues, which they should not be asked to perform.
Also, we need to be careful about blaming police for what they have been trained to do. All of these outrageous things we are seeing in the streets today are sanctioned and codified by the powers that be, who feed the police military equipment and military training. I certainly understand that some of the police love being able to express themselves this aggressively and violently, but let’s make sure we are focusing too on the villains who produce the conditions for these outrages.

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Here is Taibbi with an analysis of the Trump era. He details the bizarre nature of the last four years. It is why, in addition to this piece in CD (where law enforcement have been given permission to wreak violence on peaceful citizens), I will have to vote for Biden. Judge me as you will.

In moral anguish
Po

~https://taibbi.substack.com/p/the-trump-era-sucks-and-needs-to

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Call it by its name: police terror.

Terrorism is politically motivated violence. Police terror is when taxpayers support politically motivated violence – absorbing most of all city budgets in USA. Domestic state terror becomes more frequently necessary in places like USA & Belarus as people lose patience and grow angry.

The carnage in Rochester is quite necessary to dutiful police perpetrators. They’re well-goaded mad dogs, defending their turf. “Whose streets? Our streets!” (so say the state terrorists).

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Remember that this happened in March and the truth of what in fact occurred was only made available recently.

How many more of these murders by Police officers will never see the light of day?

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In reading that article I can not help but interpret an underlying message of “I prefer the days when the REALITY of what those in power are really like was not revealed on a daily basis”.

It sort of like “I prefer it when we all thought the emperor was wearing clothes until that stupid child spoke up”

Again this not a defense of Trump in any way shape or form. The reality is there little left to the American Voter but bad choices. The takeover of Government by the right wing is complete.

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Let’s put this particular case in perspective.

Daniel Prude’s brother called the po-po to help his brother who was in the midst of a fairly severe mental health episode. Daniel Prude was naked outdoors and obviously disturbed. He spit at officers. That’s a problem but not even remotely close to life threatening. Beyond the spit hood, one officer held Mr. Prude’s head down on the cold pavement. Another applied the knee-in-the-back technique that the po-po apparently relishes. If I had called the po-po for help with my brother and they treated him like a sub-human criminal, my lawyer would be the next person I called for help.

As for this po-po retaliation against protesters, I’ll withhold judgement until the facts are sorted out. There are conflicting claims about how peaceful the protest was. But the fact that the po-po had pre-emptively put up fencing around their HQ strikes me as bad community relations.

Based on her statement, the Mayor of Rochester impressed me with the way she took responsibility.

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The question to ask that mayor is when she was made aware of this. Remember it happened in March. If she knew about it then and only spoke now , then no she did not take responsibility.

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The police keep helpfully making the case for their own defunding.

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An article I saw, she claimed the Police Chief lied to her about the circumstances surrounding the event, then when the vid became available, she got pissed, suspended the cops involved (no word if it was with or without pay), and reamed out the chief for lying to her.

(h)ttps://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/seven-police-officers-suspended-after-video-shows-hood-placed-on-head-of-black-man-who-later-died/ar-BB18GKWK?ocid=msedgdhp

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This is a prime example of the failure of traditional liberal strategies of police reform. For the last three years, Rochester activists have been fighting tooth and nail through a broad coalition for a Police Accountability Board with investigative and disciplinary powers. Police accountability has probably been the single most unifying and hardest-fought issues in progressive Rochester politics since 2017.

After winning, with some compromise, and having the Board ratified by voters at the polls, Prude’s killing occurs. For six months, the facts were kept from the public, and now the Mayor and City Council claim that the state AG is investigating, and the whole matter is out of their hands. So community accountability is out the window.

In June, the entirely Democratic City Council (8-1) passed a budged that removed police from the schools and cut the police budget by 4%, a few million dollars. That might sound like something, but it is in the context of a pandemic-related $64m budget shortfall. The budget included $16m for a new police station. Activists, including the Accountability Board itself, were calling for 50% police budget cuts. The sole dissenter on the City Council stated:

"I’m disappointed that the budget passed fails to invest meaningfully in our communities and shift resources away from policing. Removing SROs and a 4% cut for RPD is a step in the right direction, but it’s not enough. Our police budget is $95 million. Add in their pensions (which get padded by up to $56k extra in overtime in their last 3 years), and we spend more on the police than we do on our schools, libraries and youth services combined. "

The starting point for solutions is taking resources away from police and putting them where communities truly need them.

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Absolutely right.

If she had already been aware of the raw police videos that Daniel Prude’s family obtained through an open records request, and the circumstances surrounding the encounter and tragic outcome, then she has some splainin’ to do. Appearing to be an accomplice to a cover up is not a good look.

On the other hand, the Mayor made a statement that makes it sound like she was misled:
“Experiencing and ultimately dying from the drug overdose in police custody, as I was told by the chief, is entirely different than what I ultimately witnessed, on the video…"

Let’s see how things unfold.

Also worth noting: The NYTimes is reporting that the police attack on peaceful protesters in Rochester was seemingly unprovoked.

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Thanks for that update. Cops seem to lie as a matter of course.

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In the bigger picture… police militarism is part and parcel of the onward societal move to drone capitalism where the victim is conceptualised as an aberrant data set suitable for enfolding, enclosure and obliteration.

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With regard to the first sentence of your reply, I cannot agree. This is Taibbi. He has spent his career proclaiming that the Emperor has no clothes. With regard to your last sentence I largely agree but with Trump I feel we are in new territory He is insane and will destroy everything for profit or on a whim. My last hope is that President Harris will not ruin everything and will throw a few bones to the left as Democrats are wont to do.

Peace
Po

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While inappropriate police violence is certainly not unique to the U.S., there can be no doubt that the ugliest elements festering within the nation’s law enforcement agencies have felt they’ve been let off their leash, that as you say, they’ve “… been given permission to wreak violence on peaceful citizens.” by Trump. The same has been true for the rest of the country’s ugliest elements, having been there all along but who are now emboldened by their fascist-wannabe leader in the White House.

The readily predictable and increasingly obvious and meaningful differences between a Trump second term and Joe Biden in the White House are demonstrated by Trump and his ilk on a now constant basis. At this moment in time, it could not be more clear that Trump must not be allowed another term. No longer can we doubt that if Trump stays in the White House, the country will descend into darkness in short order.

There’s one thing, one thing only, that we can do which just might remove the Trump malignancy from power. That, of course, is to vote for Biden. As repulsive as that idea is to many of us, it’s the only way to prevent the country from descending into frank and perhaps irrevocable fascism, which will surely happen if Trump remains. It’s clearly happening right before our own eyes and your decision, UnclePo, however much it pains you, is just as clearly the right one.

So, yeah, I’ll judge you by saying “Thank you” for having the courage to make such a difficult decision in this time of great national peril.

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Thanks for this info! All of us can benefit from this example in the cities where we live that are grappling with police reform too.

That was obviously a case for trained Social Workers who know how to handle mentally challenged people, Not the Police.

There has to be a distinct difference as to who goes out on 911 calls, people trained to take care of mentally disturbed patients, calmly and kindly or the heavy handed Police.

Never ever call the police for mental health issues. Police are trained to deal with “criminal” situations and so treat every one they interact with as a “criminal” .

There are too many instances where this goes wrong regardless of color. You don’t call a doctor to stop a burgler, don’t call a cop to deal with a health issue

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You can’t fix bad cops, and you can’t fix stupid cops.

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