Police State America

What Has Happened To Violent Police Filmed Abusing Protesters? So Far, Far Too Little.

Officers Are Unlikely to Be Disciplined — at Least Publicly. By Zipporah Osei & Mollie Simon ProPublica (7/28/20) It has been almost two months since a Los Angeles Police Department patrol car accelerated into Brooke Fortson during a protest over police violence. She still doesn’t know the name of the officer who hit her or whether that person is still policing the city’s streets. The officer did not stop after hitting Fortson and instead turned around, nearly hitting other demonstrators in the process, and sped off. The LAPD almost surely knows who the officer is. The squad car’s number is clearly visible…

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Is The US Social Fabric Unraveling? – System Update With Glenn Greenwald

System Update / The Intercept (8/28/20) This week on System Update, host Glenn Greenwald examines the crumbling of the US social fabric. Glenn explores the rise in so-called Deaths of Despair, and examines the symptoms of deep unhappiness across in America – from suicide to drug overdoses – and how this long-term trend has acutely intensified with the Covid pandemic. Link To 36-Minute Video  


Hidden In Plain Sight: Racism, White Supremacy, And Far-Right Militancy In Law Enforcement

  By Michael German Brennan Center For Justice (8/27/20) Racial disparities have long pervaded every step of the criminal justice process, from police stops, searches, arrests, shootings and other uses of force to charging decisions, wrongful convictions, and sentences. footnote1_9xgru6r1 As a result, many have concluded that a structural or institutional bias against people of color, shaped by long-standing racial, economic, and social inequities, infects the criminal justice system. footnote2_g4qgmwm2 These systemic inequities can also instill implicit biases — unconscious prejudices that favor in-groups and stigmatize out-groups — among individual law enforcement officials, influencing their day-to-day actions while interacting with the public. Police reforms,…


How Fascism Works: An Updated ALERT For The Americans

Amanour & Company (7/20/20) Jason Stanley is a professor of philosophy at Yale University, and in his new book “How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them,” he explores the inner mechanics of fascism and the forces that drive dictatorships. Stanley joins Hari Sreenivasan to explain his concern at signs of fascism on the rise in the U.S. Link To 17-Minute Video  



Anthropologist Wade Davis: The Unraveling Of America

COVID-19 didn’t lay America low; it simply revealed what had long been forsaken. By Wade Davis Rolling Stone (8/6/20) Never in our lives have we experienced such a global phenomenon. For the first time in the history of the world, all of humanity, informed by the unprecedented reach of digital technology, has come together, focused on the same existential threat, consumed by the same fears and uncertainties, eagerly anticipating the same, as yet unrealized, promises of medical science. In a single season, civilization has been brought low by a microscopic parasite 10,000 times smaller than a grain of salt. COVID-19 attacks our physical…


Kenosha Militia Violence Is A Dire Development Not To Be Ignored

Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, of Antioch, Illinois on the streets of Kenosha (Twitter). The trend of police and right wing fascist cooperation is as troubling as it is obvious and does nothing — absolutely nothing — to enhance the limping legitimacy of law enforcement. By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (8/27/20) (Note: This column was updated 3:10 p.m., 8/27/20.) Memorial Day saw the video documented murder of Black citizen George Floyd in Minneapolis by white police officer Derek Chauvin, which initiated protests against police brutality and in support of the Black Lives Matter movement around the globe. Just shy of…


Attack Of The Tomato Killers: The Police State’s War On Weed & Backyard Vegetable Gardeners

Botched SWAT team raids have resulted in the loss of countless lives, including children and the elderly. Usually, however, the first to be shot are the family dogs. By John Whitehead The Rutherford Institute (8/25/20) “They came again this morning at about 8:00 o’clock. A large cargo-type helicopter flew low over the cabin, shaking it on its very foundations. It shook all of us inside, too. I feel frightened … I see how helpless and tormented I am becoming with disgust and disillusionment with the government which has turned this beautiful country into a police state … I feel like I…


Border Agents Are Permitted To Operate 100 Miles Inside The US. That Should Worry Everyone

“We are exempt from the fourth amendment.” By Todd Miller The Guardian (8/820) If you were under the notion that America’s borders are our international boundary lines with Mexico and Canada, think again. The US government’s notion of “borders” has long been much more legally expansive than most people realize; the “border” is increasingly everywhere. Americans learned that the hard way when “Trump troops” were let loose on the streets in Portland, assaulting protesters and pulling people out of their cars. These agents in military camouflage without insignia include the Department of Homeland Security’s Border Patrol Tactical Unit (Bortac), which…


LAWLESS: The Supposed ‘Less-Lethal’ Weapons Police Use Against Citizens Blind, Maim and Kill. Victims Say Enough Is Enough.

“No regard for public safety.” By Donovan Slack & Dennis Wagner of USA TODAY and Jay Hancock, KHN and Kevin McCoy, USA TODAY Kaiser Health News (7/24/20) There’s a gap in Scott Olsen’s memory for the night of Oct. 25, 2011. The Iraq War vet remembers leaving his tech job in the San Francisco Bay Area and taking a BART train to join an Occupy Oakland protest against economic and social inequality. He remembers standing near protesters who faced off with Oakland police officers bristling with riot gear. He remembers being carried away by other protesters. But not the moment when a “bean…


National Guard Whistleblower Says Feds Used Excessive Force On Peaceful Protesters

“An unprovoked escalation”  By Dan Friedman Mother Jones (7/27/20) A senior National Guard officer will tell Congress that the US Park Police engaged in “an unprovoked escalation and excessive use of force” when the agency forcefully cleared peaceful protesters from in front of the White House ahead of President Donald Trump’s infamous June 1 photo op at a nearby church. “At no time did I feel threatened by the protestors or assess them to be violent,” Adam DeMarco—a major in the Washington, DC, Guard, who was present during the operation to clear Lafayette Square—says in written testimony prepared for a House Natural Resources Committee hearing…


Firsthand Account Of Medic Injured By Federal Goons In Portland

Despite all the violence and injuries and pain, people aren’t scared. We believe that we will win, and there is solace in that certainty. By Nate Cohen Facebook Post (7/27/20) Hey all, So update from the Portland front. Before I go any further I want to say that I’m gonna be ok and it was close but I am luckily not critically injured. And Black Lives Matter. Feel free to share this post. A little after 1 AM last night the feds decided to try and push Portland out of the park across from the courthouse (which has been the…


A Bipartisan Group Secretly Gathered To Game Out A Contested Trump-Biden Election. It Wasn’t Pretty Or Promising

“He doesn’t have to win the election. He just has to create a plausible narrative that he didn’t lose.” By Jess Bidgood Boston Globe (7/25/20) WASHINGTON — On the second Friday in June, a group of political operatives, former government and military officials, and academics quietly convened online for what became a disturbing exercise in the fragility of American democracy. The group, which included Democrats and Republicans, gathered to game out possible results of the November election, grappling with questions that seem less far-fetched by the day: What if President Trump refuses to concede a loss, as he publicly hinted recently…


Firsthand Account Of University Professor Shot In The Head By Fascist Govt Goons In Portland

Professor Maureen Healy is the chair of the history department at Lewis & Clark College in Portland. She was shot in the head by federal agents on Monday night and is recovering from the injury and the concussion, but shared a statement of her experience, and gave permission to share. ***** Statement by Maureen Healy, July 22, 2020 For Immediate Release Since June, I have been attending peaceful protests in Portland neighborhoods in support of Black Lives Matter. I have gone with family and friends. I am a 52-year-old mother. I am a history professor. I went downtown yesterday to express…


Police Budgets Are Ballooning As Social Programs That Reduce Crime Crumble

By Indigo Oliver In These Times (7/22/20) Faced with mass teacher layoffs, deep cuts to education and social services, and a looming eviction crisis, police budgets across the nation remain absurdly high and have been largely insulated from Covid-induced belt-tightening. Worse yet, a number cities have opted to increase police budgets, claiming the funds are needed to pay for reforms. This is despite the fact that racial justice protesters across the country are clearly calling for the defunding of police—a demand that stems from abolitionist principles. Budget cuts are seen as part of a process of dismantling prisons and policing…


‘Get ready!” — Will Trump’s Storm Troopers Succeed In Provoking Riots & Gutting Liberties In Your City?

Stained & Faded Glory In Trump’s Tawdry Shrinking Amerika. “This is what authoritarians do. To seize political power, they don’t bring us together—they tear us apart.” By Thom Hartmann Common Dreams (7/21/20) The Republican Trump administration has gone full authoritarian. Portland is a test, but only a test. Donald Trump signaled his election strategy a few days ago when he talked about ending legislation passed back in the 1960s to support fair housing that he said had sent “people” out into “the suburbs.” Essentially, what he was saying was, “White people in the suburbs, I’m doing what I can to keep your neighborhood…


Psychiatrist Explains How America’s ‘Extremely Punitive’ Prisons Make Mental Illness Worse

“The [American] system is broken, but we don’t have to reinvent the wheel in order to fix it. There are places that can show us a road map for how to achieve the outcomes we desire without us starting from scratch.” [Editor’s Note: For those interested in reform of the corrupted and failed American prison system, this interview provides both information and hope for reform. — Mark L. Taylor] By Dave Davies Fresh Air / NPR (7/16/20) Psychiatrist Christine Montross has spent years treating people with serious mental illnesses — sometimes in hospitals, other times in jails or prisons. “The patients that…


Just The Beginning: Trump Unleashes Secret Police In Portland

“We’re quickly entering secret police territory now.” [Editor’s Note: As bad as this first stage is, writer Jeet Herr details how things can become even worse, very quickly. Link to original article and pass on to your contacts. Congressional dems are raising concerns. Let us hope there will be tough hearings. Perhaps they need to block some funding. Will Biden speak out? If not, that is significant. He has already said he would not support taking qualified immunity away from police, which is a huge cause of police abuse. — Mark L. Taylor] By Jeet Herr The Nation (7/17/20) Donald Trump’s war on…


Chris Hedges: America Faces A Historic Choice — “ugly corporate tyranny” Or Revolution

These are “the good times,” says Hedges, compared to what may lie ahead. But there’s real hope in the streets. [Editors Note: Want to understand the context of what is happening? Journalist Chris Hedges lays it out the bipartisan failure unspooling before us . — Mark L. Taylor] By Chauncey Devega Salon ( 7/16/20) Time is broken in Donald Trump’s America. Minutes feel like hours, hours feel like days. Weeks are months, and months are years. And there is an overwhelming sense of time warped by dread as the country careens towards a dangerous climax on Election Day — whatever the outcome. Disorientation is…


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ICE Offers New ‘Citizen’s Academy’ In Basics Of Fascism

“And yesterday [7/10] we learned that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is planning to offer a six-day “citizens academy” course to train people in what ICE does, including the arrest of immigrants. “You have been identified as a valued member of the community who may have interest in participating in the inaugural class of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Chicago Citizens Academy,” read a letter from ICE Chicago Field Office Director Robert Guadian. The program will “serve as a pilot for nationwide implementation,” it said. The course will include training in “defensive tactics, firearms…


The Opportunity The Far-Right Revolution Was Waiting For Has Now Arrived

“For white nationalists, this is a crisis as well as an opportunity.” By Murtaza Hussain The Intercept (7/11/20) AT THIS POINT, it’s become a staple of dark humor to observe that 2020 has been the year in which the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse seemingly decided to descend on the United States. Yet even before our fears of war, pestilence, and economic collapse began taking physical form, one could already observe morbid symptoms spreading within the extremities of our body politic. The strongest sign of a looming social illness has been the rebirth and spread of extremist ideologies — beliefs not…


Impunity: Oversight & Reforms In Many US Police Forces Have Been Rendered Ineffective By Union Contracts

“When the police have the ability to take away liberty, the police should not be policing themselves.” By Tom Perkins The Guardian (6/30/20) A court in 2009 convicted Washington DC police officer Michael Sugg-Edwards of sexually assaulting a teenage woman in his squad car. After conducting its own internal investigation, the department quickly fired the then 35-year-old officer. But, six years later, Sugg-Edwards was back on the force. A provision in the police union’s contract allowed him to appeal the decision to a union-selected arbitrator who reversed the department’s firing and reinstated him – with back pay. Such protections for officers who…


The Growing Rebellion Against Our Brutal System Of Racial Militarized Capitalism

  “Modern policing is rotten at its core.” By Jeremy Scahill Intercepted / The intercept (6/24/20) THE BLACK LIVES MATTER uprisings against police and state violence are continuing across the U.S., as a humiliated Donald Trump threatens a broader crackdown to defend Confederate monuments. This week on Intercepted: History Of Modern Racial Capitalism — Robin D.G. Kelley, a distinguished history professor at UCLA, explains why he believes the current abolitionist movement has the potential to fundamentally change the country and offers a historical analysis of the weaponization of racial capitalism throughout U.S. history. He also tells the story of the Black-led…


The Economic ‘Elite’ Counting On The Police Being Violent To Keep People Down

“It’s not enough to say that the police are too violent, or racist, or detached from society. Powerful people already know this perfectly well. Indeed, they’re counting on it. They’re counting on cops being violent to protect elite interests; nor is racism the worst thing in the world, they believe, as long as it’s not hurting their financial bottom lines. If it divides people, making them all the more exploitable, so much the better. And who cares if cops are detached from the interests of the working and lower middle classes from which they’ve come? Again, all the better, since…


‘Black Lives Matter’ Is About Far More Than The Police

Let’s make sure that Black life matters at every stage and in every facet of society, well before a cop has his knee on a man’s neck. By Patrisse Cullors ACLU (6/23/20) Every time another Black person is murdered by the police, it’s easy to point to a single officer as the culprit. George Floyd was killed under the knee of officer Derek Chauvin — we saw it ourselves. But Chauvin is just one officer in a culture of police violence, and policing is just one of the systems responsible for taking Black lives. COVID-19 exposed a number of the…


Duplicitous FBI Has A Long, Murderous History Of Targeting Black Activists. That’s Still True Today

The most apparent protest violence that falls within the FBI’s jurisdiction is not coming from BLM activists or antifa, but from police. By Mike German The Guardian (6/26/20) Throughout its history, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has viewed Black activism as a potential national security threat. It has used its ample investigative powers not to suppress violence, but to inhibit the speech and association rights of Black activists. And its reaction to the protests following the police killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd shows little has changed. In October 1919, a young J Edgar Hoover, director of the Bureau…


Columbus OH Police Mace Double Amputee, Take His Legs, Leave Him Writhing In Pain

A level of brutality across the country that fits the deadly definition of “state-sanctioned violence.” [Editor’s Note: Want a defining image of the brutal callousness of the establishment? Well, here it is. This young man was struck, gassed and then had his artificial legs stolen by the police. Demonstrators had to fight the police to get the prosthetics back. Here it is: The image of what our corporate state has come to. They can gas, beat and terrorize their subjects, but they have no legitimacy. — Mark L. Taylor] By Abby Zimet Common Dreams (6/22/20) In a new study from the…


The ‘Warrior Cop’ Is a Toxic Mentality And Money Making Con That Leaves Communities More Vulnerable

Time to ban the police ‘Thin Blue Line” flag desecration. In a three day course last year, instructors certified the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office’s SWAT team to parachute from planes. [Editor’s Note: If these police “warriors” want to really get on top of real crime have them parachute into Wall Street. — Mark L. Taylor] By Alain Stephens The Trace (6/19/20) A group of police officers, kitted out for a day of shooting, sit silently in a tin-roofed gun range. A portable CD player plays a recording of the desperate cries of one of their colleagues, fighting for his life….


Domination Over Democracy: How Our Bloated Military Strengthens The Police State

The violent U.S. domination of people of color overseas is inextricably linked to the oppression of people of color at home. By Shireen Al-Adeimi & Sarah Lazare In These Times (6/17/20) Nationwide uprisings over the police killing of George Floyd have forced a long overdue discussion about the injustices of U.S. policing—an institution that has consistently harassed and terrorized and, in the words of organizer, writer and educator Mariame Kaba, remains a consistent “force of violence against Black people.” As demands to abolish the police are thrust into mainstream discourse, promising—if uncertain and mixed—political changes are being debated and implemented every day. We are seeing a rigorous…


“Light ‘Em Up”: How America’s Forever Wars Came To Our Streets & Neighborhoods

Warrior-Cops Are the Law — And Above the Law — As State Sanctioned Violence Grips America. [Editor’s Note: This is one of the best assessments of what has happened with our now ‘occupying’ police force. Our wars of empire have come home. Think of it as a kind of brutal karmic payback for what the US has been doing to other nations for decades. There is a short introductory comment on the link, so scroll down for the rest of the story. — Mark L. Taylor] By William Astore TomDispatch (6/7/20) From their front porches, regular citizens watched a cordon…


‘Pure Intimidation’ — Community Activists Targeted By Federal Agents

“They didn’t want us to have that rally.” [Editor’s Note: Free nation? Don’t believe it for a moment. This is ‘Just-Us’ Department American fascism. — Mark L. Taylor] By Chris Brooks The Intercept (6/12/20) “I’ve never had any run-ins with the cops before. I’ve never been to jail and have no criminal record, so when the FBI showed up to my workplace, it scared the piss out of me,” says Katy, a 22-year-old who works for a custodial services company in Cookeville, a small college town in middle Tennessee. “I really thought I was going to lose my job. The…


It’s Time To Kick Police Unions Out Of The Labor Movement. They Aren’t Allies

For centuries, the police have in fact been the tool of oppression wielded to crush working people. By Hamlton Nolan The Guardian (6/13/20) The ultimate power of the labor movement lies in solidarity. Together, working people are strong. So what can the movement do in this moment of national struggle against racism and police violence? The obvious answer is to deny the power of solidarity to police unions, which function as barriers to the very reforms that Americans are now fighting for. The time has come to put police unions on a raft and set them adrift. Perhaps they can…


Examples Of Reforming & Reimagining Police Departments That Show Promise

  By Noel King, Cherly Corley, Eric Westervelt & Martin Kaste Morning Edition / NPR (6/12/20) Since the protests sparked by George Floyd’s killing in police custody, many have called for overhauling police departments and policies. Efforts underway in some cities have had mixed success. NOEL KING, HOST: Since George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer, many Americans have called for a dramatic rethinking of policing in this country. There have been some incremental changes over the years. Body cameras are now common. Many police use their firearms far less often than they did even 10 years ago….


Law n’ Disorder: Confessions Of A Former Bastard Cop

Understand: Police officers are part of the state monopoly on violence and all police training reinforces this monopoly as a cornerstone of police work, a source of honor and pride.  By Officer A. Cab Medium (6/6/20) I was a police officer for nearly ten years and I was a bastard. We all were. This essay has been kicking around in my head for years now and I’ve never felt confident enough to write it. It’s a time in my life I’m ashamed of. It’s a time that I hurt people and, through inaction, allowed others to be hurt. It’s a…


National Guardsmen Struggle With Their Role In Controlling Protests

‘What I saw was just absolutely wrong’ By Daniel Lippman Politico (6/9/20) Pvt. Si’Kenya Lynch, a member of the D.C. National Guard, was on duty at Lafayette Square near the White House last Monday when U.S. Park Police cleared the area of protesters ahead of President Donald Trump’s now-infamous photo op. Lynch said she supports the protests, and that her brother was among the demonstrators on the other side of the line, adding that “he coughed a lot” due to the tear gas fired into the crowd. “I was happy to see him out there … to walk for me when I couldn’t,”…


Cornel West Offers Hope — And Warns Of ‘neo-fascist’ Backlash

“We have to get ready for the neo-fascist clampdown, because it is coming. It is coming.” “We refuse to get in the gutter, and we’ll go down swinging like Ella Fitzgerald, Muhammad Ali, in the name of love and justice. We do it for Brother Wyatt, we do it for my daughter, we do it for the Asians and for the whole world. Because that is the only hope of the world and that kind of love is always tragedy, comic and crucified with that kind of love. And you need to keep dishing it, generation after generation after generation….


Israeli Forces Trained Cops In Sadistic ‘restraint techniques’ At Minneapolis Conference

“…many Israeli soldiers began using this technique of leaning in on our chest and necks when we were protesting in the West Bank sometime in 2006.” By Steve Sweeney Morning Star (6/3/20) Officers from the U.S. police force responsible for the killing of George Floyd received training in restraint techniques and anti-terror tactics from Israeli law enforcement officers. Floyd’s death in custody on Memorial Day, the latest in a succession of police killings of African Americans, has sparked continuing protests in U.S. cities. At least 100 Minnesota police officers attended a 2012 conference hosted by Israel’s Chicago consulate, the second…


Online Database Has 426 Videos Of Police Attacking & Brutalizing George Floyd Protestors

  By Daniel Villarreal The New Civil Rights Movement (6/6/20) The nationwide protests against police violence have created numerous instances of police violence. As hundreds of thousands have non-violently protested without incident, they’re capturing police attacks against demonstrators on camera, and now there’s a database where you can watch them all. Lawyer T. Greg Doucette and mathematician Jason Miller have placed these clips into a public Google Sheet entitled “GeorgeFloyd Protest – police brutality videos on Twitter.” It contains links to at least 426 videos of police violence committed in cities across the United States. “[The videos] come in from…


If You’re Shocked By Police Violence, You Don’t Understand US History

Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, resulting in Floyd’s death, Memorial Day, 2020. The image — and especially the entitled expression on Chauvin’s face — encapsulates the war waged by American law enforcement against African American and other minority citizens since the days of slavery and occupation of Native lands. (Screenshot) The billions of dollars that governments spend on increasingly militarized police can be better used to address the underlying socioeconomic conditions that contribute to police encounters. By Malaika Jabali The Guardian (6/5/20) Amid worldwide protests against the police killing of George Floyd, activists around…


Pentagon War Game Includes Military Response To Possible Domestic ‘Gen Z’ Rebellion

Plotting war against our children. [Editor’s Note: Here’s a radical idea for all those geniuses planning out warfare against our children: How about addressing the very real issues they are facing that you think could lead to rebellion? If you ever thought the military was for our defense, think again. As we saw in D.C. this past week, it is solely an instrument of the bipartisan corporatocracy. — Mark L. Taylor] By Nick Turse Intercept (6/6/20) IN THE FACE of protests composed largely of young people, the presence of America’s military on the streets of major cities has been a controversial development. But this isn’t…