thanks droid butIt may be worth considering that Padraig has had to deal with armed and extremely aggressive cops his entire life, and probably has friends or acquaintances who have been the victims of police violence. In Europe, the cops can easily ruin your life, but if youre relatively law abiding and non-political (and certainly if you're the right demographic) then theyre probably not going to beat you up or kill you, and for most people the risk of being murdered by a random cop as you drive down the street is extremely low.
thanks droid but
1) I don't want or need anyone to make excuses for me
2) and I made this distinction above but just to be crystal clear: despite having lived in relatively high-crime, highly policed neighborhoods for much of my adult life, I'm at little risk of violent crime or police violence. being white and not a drug addict (and not looking like I'm trying to buy drugs) basically eliminates the risk of police harassment. and despite Chicago's reputation for violent crime, a large portion of it takes place in a handful of concentrated areas and is perpetrated by and on a relatively small group of people - like most cities, I believe.
the police violence I've experienced has been exclusively political, when I was younger. I got whacked a couple times at demonstrations, and suffered bullshit arrests a couple other times. I do know other people who got much worse. I also experienced police harassment in my itinerant youth for social undesirability, and was locked up a couple other times for nonsense like vagrancy or loitering (of the five times I've been in jail, I'd say one was a valid charge), and got to witness and experience the huge racial and class iniquities of the American justice system. those were eye-opening experiences after a relatively sheltered childhood - most of my extended family are middle-class white people at virtually zero risk of police violence or harassment.
but the entire point is that this shouldn't be about personal experience, it should be about what policies are both effective and morally right. militarization, pretextual stops, stop and frisk, gang databases, expecting police officers to function as social workers and addiction specialists - these are all bad and immoral policies.
this is not an abstract issue to me. it was the core issue of Chicago's mayoral election - which took place last week - and it is the single issue defining the upcoming two-candidate runoff (which occurs when no one gets over 50% of the vote): what to do about the triangular relationship in Chicago between citizens, crime, and police? one candidate, Brandon Johnson, is a young Black progressive who wants to focus on the root causes of crime - invest in creating economic opportunities for young people, violence prevention, reopen mental health centers, etc - and create more detectives from within the existing police force to solve crimes rather than just crack heads. the other is a conservative old guy endorsed by the FOP who, surprise, is full of dog whistle language about "taking back our streets" and such bullshit. so yeah this is happening where I live (literally, Brandon Johnson and his family live a neighborhood over from me), right now.
Harper gives the example of Bethany and Paul Eaton, whose house in Chislehurst, South-East London, was burgled while they were on holiday in 2019. When a neighbour spotted the break-in and called the police, the call handler said that since the neighbour hadn’t made an appointment, officers wouldn’t be able to attend the scene that day. When the Eatons later called the police to ask why officers hadn’t been to visit, they were told that the handler had closed the case.
Fucking twats! Reckon it was 'just' a mistake, or they did it for shits and giggles?This is a good one. A few months back I'm driving my car late at night, randomly stopped by the police, they breathalyze me, all fine and ask to see the documentation for the car. Now I bought it in Liza's name so fucking Barnaby has a flash of genius and realizes I'm not Elizaveta V******* they get mad suspicious and think I've nicked the car. They search me against a wall, search car everything. But when I can give all her details easily and correctly they realise my story checks out, they give me the wallet that contains the docs and I drive off.
Yesterday stopped again. They ask for the docs, I give em the wallet and this time I anticipate the problem. I say "Yes I know it says a woman's name but blah blah" but they looking through looking through, they say "there's no document for ownership here". I'm thinking they're crazy, what you on about, I know it's in there look.... except it's not. Seems the other guys forgot to put it back. So unless I can produce it by Monday - which is gonna be impossible cos the only way to get a new one involves going to a notary, which I've just done, and then they send it off and it comes in the post whenever - I'm getting 200 euro fine or something's. Cos the police lost, or in fact stole, my fucking documentation.
I told the story to the notary, I said "I think the police lost it for me" and she says "yeah probably" completely unsurprised.
The suicide deaths of four current and former Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department employees over a 24-hour span have prompted a plea from Sheriff Robert Luna urging deputies to check on the well-being of their colleagues and friends.