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George Floyd and the protests.


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Thiiiiiiiis!   I threw myself into the Standing Rock movement in 2016, and ended up in a community organizer role. When you work with one social justice movement, you end up working with all of them,

I wish people would be just as outraged at the conditions that created the riots as the riots themselves.

Seattle has a ton of problems with police brutality (the whole metro area, actually) . The cops have lost their ever-loving minds with these riots, but this isn't new. Now we do have the crazy sociali

I have a theory that this is Trump's way of making this year his lame duck year. He doesn't want to do this job any more. So basically he's tanking it. On purpose, so he won't be elected and he can go on to blubbering and selling and grifting without it being in the news every day. But we cannot count out the GOP's ability to curb voters who wouldn't vote for them and the utter love of morons who still believe in him to vote.

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Okay, so my local news is focusing on positive things. Lonnie Walker, a Spur, has been actively going out and helping clean up damaged store fronts and scrub paint off things. Some people have been out there helping buy from black owned businesses only. People have started go fund mes to help restock up places who were looted. And my news is focusing on that instead. The positive outcomes. We did have an officer in the jail lose his job because he posted on facebook about hurting people that protested. He got his peace officer license taken away so he can't get a job anywhere in Texas.

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I have a theory that this is Trump's way of making this year his lame duck year. He doesn't want to do this job any more. So basically he's tanking it. On purpose, so he won't be elected and he can go on to blubbering and selling and grifting without it being in the news every day. But we cannot count out the GOP's ability to curb voters who wouldn't vote for them and the utter love of morons who still believe in him to vote.

Well, he hasn't exactly been doing his job for 3.5 years, anyway. An egomaniac like him doesn't want to lose the position of president, because he loves the power. I think it may seem like what you are saying because Trump lives in his own personal social bubble where he surrounds himself with yes men, and has a skewed sense of reality. Also, never count out the level of stupidity of the American people to vote for Trump, too.

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Trump isnt throwing the election. Hes governing the same way he always has, and doing the same stuff hes done for decades.

 

If anything, hes setting himself up to try to discredit the election if he loses. Even more than he did in 2016. I used to think he might quit when he realized he wasnt universally loved, but I was an idiot on that and Ill admit it. Trump wants to be president because he wants the power and he loves the adulation he gets from his supporters.

 

But that last part is nothing new. Democrats still do it with Obama, and Republicans did it for years with Reagan. And before Obama, Democrats idealized JFK for decades. Trump has hit the same level, and it isnt going away and as long as it lasts he isnt going away. Even after hes done, whether its 2021 or 2025, hes staying in the public sphere.

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I will say that there is still a strange obsession with the Clintons. It's still like a drum beat. Maybe that's how my Dad felt when his Dad waxed poetic about Nixon.

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I was partially at one of the demonstrations that hit a bit of national news the other day, I thought I'd give my account.

The event I attended was organized by the NAACP, they had a number of local leaders speaking out on everything. My friends and I stayed in the back because we're still a little anxious about COVID Cooties, and also wanted to be able to make a quick exit in case anything went bad. I can't really speak to the health stuff, but I was so happy to see that the vibe of the crowd was so positive. Upset and passionate, but still welcoming and chill.

It was still so weird to see a cyberpunk dystopia otherwise though. Drones circling the area, snipers on roofs, police in riot gear standing at the sidelines. I've also been to enough music festivals to know what an undercover cop looks like, and there were plenty. They were certainly non-verbally making a threat, but I felt like while the speaking event was going on everyone was more or less tuning them out.

Many of my friends and myself headed home right when the speeches were over, but we had a lot of friends stay behind because there was an impromptu march to the courthouse that was not organized by the NAACP. From what I saw online through sources I trust and what I heard and saw through those friends, everyone stayed out of the road and on the sidewalks to voice their concerns about the Confederate monument that's in front of our county square.

They did that for some time until the cops began to tear gas them and shoot rubber bullets. No directions or warning were given. I heard that one of the cops shouted indistinctly through a megaphone minutes before they began attacking, but no one could make out what was being said.

What's funny to me is that our town has designated the area around that same courthouse square as an "entertainment district," meaning that drunk partiers are allowed to stumble around that area in mass groups every weekend. The fact that the cops targeted one group and not another just proves the points that were being made that day.

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Protestors yesterday marched on city hall. When they got there the mayor came out and welcomed the leaders of the march to come in so they could talk. They told her that they had nothing to say to her and started chanting for her to go away. ????? What was the point of marching on city hall then? There mayor was the previous chief of police. She marched with protestors Saturday before things went to hell. At this point you're feeding the belief that most protestors don't know what they want.

This.

 

I don't think we're seeing a revolution in any meaningful sense. The closest we're seeing to an actual narrative emerge from this is coming from Black Lives Matter, whom I do sympathize with to a fair extent but we need more than just white guilt and black rage. Burning our cities to the ground might call attention to the underlying issues, but more than that, what? I don't see a workable, doable program being pushed by anyone of any significance. Abolishing or severely defunding police departments will do nothing save for turn the streets over to the gangs and mobs, though it is admittedly getting harder to tell them apart from the cops all the time. The future looks to me like an endless round of rioting and looting, be it in the streets or in the halls of congress and the trading floor of Wall Street. Governments are too weak and too uncreative to deal with this at all effectively. We really started seeing that with how they've handled Covid 19 and now this.

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Remember Occupy Wall Street about a decade ago?

If you don't, I can't blame you. They had kind of the same problem. They had attention from the media and the world at large, but they were so disorganized and had no real agenda other than pointing out the disparity in income. It kind of just sputtered out, lost traction, and everyone lost interest.

I'm really hoping the current movement is going to find some organization in the coming week because literally the whole world is watching. There's certainly attention being drawn to institutionalized racism and the need for police oversight, but there's so much peripherally that needs attention as well.

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The brick thing is weird-- there are pallets of bricks or stones showing up in places protests later materialize. It's not a crazy conspiracy, I've actually seen them.

This is the nation of J. Edgar Hoover and COINTELPRO. There's a long history of this kind of thing in the US.

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So anyone want to talk about this abolishing police thing? I'm as liberal as you can get and I struggle with getting my head around it. I certainly get the problem, but I don't see a realistic or feasible way this can happen from a fiscal or practical point of view.

 

People are talking about social workers handling situations that are mental health based, which makes sense. All the examples I see about doing this use talking points based on cases in which police screwed up.

 

But what about when there's a hostage situation at a bank? Or an active shooter situation where it's clear no negotiation is going to happen? Who investigates unsolved crimes? Who do you call if somebody is actively breaking into your home?

 

I'm not opposed to an entirely new system, but if people (Minneapolis) think you can flip a switch and have everything covered and figured out, it's going to be chaos. I could get behind it, but I have so many questions and logistical concerns that no one is talking about, and the volume level on this issue is so high, it's going to force a change that is not thought out.

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I see "Defund the Police" as a catchphrase. If you get lawmakers willing to put their name on it then I might take it seriously.

 

Minneapolis let's see what you got?

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Here's another thing I don't think these people consider. With no police, and seemingly no alternative, what's to keep people from moving out of fear. The ones that can afford it. Businesses that have already been looted. If doesn't work out how do you bring back the police? If I'm a Chris if police how do I know I can trust the city?

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Try googling the history of policing. Its kinda interesting. I think they do serve a purpose. I dont know how going back to self policing will help. And if you think about it cops have to deal with all kinds of community problems from the homeless guy who keeps pissing on your businesses front door to the dudes you call to come scare a bunch of kids playing music too loud next door.

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I do think we need a greater emphasis on social services as opposed to policing, but we still need policing. The opioid epidemic has taken hold in our nation, and it needs serious help. Throwing them in jail forces them to detox, but that gets thrown away when they take their next hit. I think we need more inpatient detox services instead of jail time for drugs. When it comes down to it, they are so overwhelmed with things like druggies that they can't handle things like property crime that police would actually be useful for.

 

I also think that we need to really address the psychological burden of policing. I've talked to retired cops who are good, honorable people. Policing takes a toll on you, you start to not trust anyone. You become really paranoid. I know one cop who decided to retire when he realized he didn't trust his kids anymore (and they were good kids). We need to provide officers with good psych resources and destigmatize needing help.

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After going through this with my sister, I definitely think we need to change our approach to the drug offenders we arrest and process and release. Tina almost killed someone running a red light because she couldn't figure out the GPS to get to her dealer to buy stuff and this was AFTER she'd been in jail for shoplifiting because of her habit. When I was talking to her about this I told her she was super lucky the car I gave her was small because the woman's SUV pushed it aside instead of it stopping her fully and that she, the other drivers kids would have died if not for dumb luck.

 

San Antonio's police department has special mental and drug units and work effectively in areas like that. But we do have a gang element that even affects my school. Police are needed.

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I think modern policing needs more of a rebranding than abolishment.

At this point, the very idea of them has become so problematic that you can't blame anyone for having cynicism and mistrust. So many well publicized incidents have understandably made people consider them to be state-sponsored gangs that can basically do whatever they want and get away with it.

Unless you're just absolutely being a dick and obviously breaking the law enough to put yourself or others in danger, I don't think anyone should ever come in contact with what's traditionally considered law enforcement. Public servants who are involved in supporting their communities should be all anyone sees.

I think we've gotten to the point where most citizens consider the Social Contract to have long been broken already. Focusing way more on that positive involvement as opposed to state sponsored intimidation could do a lot in repairing that trust.

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Im of of the opinion that everyone should get on the same page as to what police do and do not handle, restructure the training program, wipe all current cops out of the force, and re-fill the ranks with new recruits.

 

I also dont see why it cant be a multi-faceted organization with certain members being deployed for situations they specialize in - like having social workers and psychologists as members of the force who are sent to wellness checks and mental health crises.

 

But what do I know?

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Im of of the opinion that everyone should get on the same page as to what police do and do not handle, restructure the training program, wipe all current cops out of the force, and re-fill the ranks with new recruits.

All current cops? Bit of an overreaction don't you think? Maybe it's because I have friends and family that are cops.

 

Let's do a hypothetical. Who do you do you send it in a domestic violence call? Most cops will tell you that those are one of the most stressful for them. Not so much because of the person being called on. In a lot of instances the victim gets physical and turns on the police there to help them.

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Yes. All current cops. I do believe that the majority are good people who went into the force to make a positive difference in the world. But why do I never hear those good people who are cops speak out against their bad apple colleagues? And would people really trust someone who was trained and served under the old rules, where cops could by in large get away with murder? I would say, to regain the publics trust, everyone would need to start with fresh recruits. But your friends and family need not worry, as I am a nobody and this will never happen.

 

In my imaginary perfect police force, everyone would go through basic police training, and then theyd specialize from there. So, I would send in my social work squad for a domestic violence situation, knowing theyve been trained to handle it.

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I had a boss who was a cop 15 years ago. He left the force because his wife was always worried, and he didn't think he made enough to justify the danger. Took him almost 10 years, but he now makes $40,000 more than he did as a cop. He's a black man. He told me that the everyone knew who the bad cops were. They couldn't do anything because until they actually did something wrong because being an asshole isn't against the law.

 

Let's be pragmatic here. As of the end of 2019 there are around 900,000 police officers in the United States. There are on average 2000 cases of police brutality reported each year. The number is believed to be under reported, but even still that represents .22% of all cops. When you consider that the guy that killed George Floyd had 12 on his record himself that percentage is probably less. Instances of bad cops are few and far between.

 

The average person probably has a bad take on cops because of a parking or speeding ticket they have gotten. Not because they were treated badly for no reason. As popular a term as driving while black is I've never been pulled over for a reason that wasn't some sort of traffic violation. Though one the cop was clearly trying to meet his quota at the end of the month.

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In my generation, I think its how the adults in our childhood talked about the police that did it. I remember being told that you only have to be scared of cops if youre doing bad things, but then theyre used as empty disciplinary threats for misbehavior.

 

Then youve got the DARE program. The DARE officer sent to my school told us: a. drug dealers specifically make drugs look appealing to little kids b. drug dealers will trick you into selling drugs for them, turning you into a drug dealer c. all drug dealers will go to jail for a long time. So my little six year old brain heard that I could have absolutely no idea that I was breaking the law, and I could still be punished for it. I then extrapolated that to thinking every cop I meet will assume Im a criminal, and I have no recourse if they decide to pursue me, no matter how innocent I am.

 

A while ago, in my town, cops arrested a little 12 year old kid because they claimed he fit the description of a (much older) robbery suspect. So, grown men in uniform wrestled this kid to the ground, cuffed him, and threw him in the back of a cruiser while he was playing with his cousin in his front yard. Really glad I didnt see THAT when I was six.

 

Around that time, I went on a work outing to a large public event where police provide on-site security. All the Millennials were clearly avoiding the cops, while the boomers were going up and talking to them. One boomer was shocked by the way we were acting towards people there to protect us. We had to explain that that is not what we were taught about cops, that we have what we consider a healthy fear of them.

 

Which is why I think it would be asking a lot of the public to completely change the system, and then accept people who served when Derek Chauvin was allowed to keep his job after count after count of abuse until he flat out murdered a man with impunity. If the good cops cant do anything about the bad cops until they do something - why wasnt this guy dealt with on the first offense? Theyre being protected. And if theyre not, that needs to be blatant and public to prove it.

 

The police has dealt with a lot of bad publicity and unintended fallout from failed programs, sure, but they havent done anything to dispel anything people think about them. I have a perfectly spotless record, not even a speeding ticket, and Im still convinced the whole system is rotten. Like it or not, thats the public perception of the police. And since they dont seem to have any interest in doing anything about that, I think a clean slate is the way to fully restore trust in the institution.

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Our campus cops are actually trained to show that cops are kind and hired for a specific purpose to make the kids feel safe (his hiring came out of school shootings so he's like our air marshal designed to prevent school shootings). But the kids hate him. The weirdest part is he's actually a pretty nice dude. He's donated to the schools food drives, comes to school events off duty, has young hip vibe but man do the kids not like him.

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