Police Respond to Protests With More Excessive Force
If the police want to convince us they’re a bunch of brutish, neo-fascists thugs they’re doing a great job of it. In the wake of the death of George Floyd, killed after he was held down by Minneapolis police officers, the police has gone on a spree of violence that includes, shooting and arresting multiple journalists, dousing a child with pepper spray, running over protesters in New York and kneeling on a protester’s neck in Seattle. (Wasn’t that the action that caused all the protests in the first place?)
I’ve already written about the arrest of CNN reporter Omar Jimenez, who was carted off and detained before being released. But since then there have been several more attacks.
Targeted Human Rights Abuse
Here are some examples:
- Photographer Linda Tirado’s eyeball was shattered after she took a pepper ball in the face.
- MSNBC reporter Ali Velshi was shot at twice by local police. After he showed them his press ID the second time, they replied “We don’t care.”
- Police stormed through a neighborhood in Minneapolis and fired pepper spray at citizens taping them from their porch.
- Chris Mathias, a Huffington Post reporter, was arrested in New York even though he had his press badge prominently displayed. The same thing happened to Keith Boykin, a CNN commentator.
- Several reporters have also stated they were hurt by plastic bullets or pepper spray.
Bellingcat.com, an independent news site that covers human rights abuse across the globe, stated what many media watchers have suspected.
“In the majority of the cases we have recorded the journalists are clearly identifiable as press, and it is clear that they are being deliberately targeted. This pattern of violence against journalists is replicated in several cities, but appears most intense in Minneapolis,” said Nick Waters.
In Minnesota, Gov. Tim Walz went on TV to apologize again, after he had apologized to CNN on Friday for Jimenez’s arrest. I don’t know what’s going on in his state, but it looks like he’s lost control of the police. The time for apologies is over and now it’s time for firings until he gets a police chief who can establish a functional chain of command.
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A hefty 400+ point reversal in the U.S. Equities yesterday has flashed a warning sign for things to come. The markets…
There have been some positive stories of police marching alongside protesters and kneeling in protest. Some police leaders have condemned Floyd’s death. But those positive stories are being drowned out by the overwhelming number of negative stories. The police is losing the PR war, if they even care about that.
Trump Administration Approves of Police Violence
We can’t expect any support or leadership from the Trump administration. Instead of offering emotional support and calling for calm, the tweeter-in-chief is ginning things up by promising to unleash “the most vicious dogs you’ve ever seen” on protesters outside the White House.
He also declared Antifa a terrorist organization. This action only reveals his idiocy because he literally can’t do this. (How about you read the president’s manual next time?)
“Waste no brain cells on this. Antifa is a vaguely defined movement of people who like direct-action protest tactics, not an actual organization,” said Charlie Savage, a legal reporter for The New York Times, in a tweet. “Even if it were a real group, the law that lets the government deem entities as terrorists only applies to foreign orgs.”
The seemingly out-of-control police violence appears to have been given the green light from the White House. According to The Independent, Minneapolis Police Union Lieutenant Bob Kroll spoke at a Trump rally in 2019 and said, “He (Trump) decided to start to let cops do their job, put the handcuffs on the criminals instead of us.” According to The New York Times, Kroll had 29 complaints lodged against him.
Here’s a piece of advice to the police. If you don’t want to be called fascists, stop acting like the Gestapo.