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Right on cue: “Officers are the real heroes in Dorner saga”

5:36 am in Uncategorized by fairleft

How can such a headline be happening:

The officers who are heroes are the same trigger-happy incompetents who attempted to kill two women delivering newspapers a couple days ago? The ones who attempted to kill a surfer driving to the coast for some morning waves? Or the ones who are recorded planning to burn up Dorner and his cabin and then recorded hooping and hollering “Burn the f**ker down”?

The editorial is in the Riverside Press-Enterprise, a key local newspaper and one of the vast majority of mass media who put their pencils and mikes down when the police ‘asked’ them to, when the police incendiaries’ flames were engulfing Dorner (emphasis added to this excellent article: How Law Enforcement and Media Covered Up the Plan to Burn Christopher Dorner Alive):

Just after 7 PM (4 PM PT), right when the orders were given to deploy the “burners,” the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Public Information Officer Cindy Bachman hastily gathered reporters for an impromptu press conference. Claiming to know nothing new, she told reporters that she had no idea why the cabin was on fire, or who started the fire. …

Around the same time, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department requested that all reporters and media organizations stop tweeting about the ongoing standoff with Dorner, claiming their journalism was “hindering officer safety.” As the cabin sheltering Dorner burned, the local CBS affiliate was reportedly told by law enforcement to zoom its helicopter camera out to avoid showing the actions of sheriff’s deputies. By all accounts, the media acceded to police pressure for self-censorship.

On Twitter, the Riverside Press Enterprise, a leading local newspaper, announced on Twitter, “Law enforcement asked media to stop tweeting about the#Dorner case, fearing officer safety. We are complying.” The paper’s editors added, “We are going to tweet broad, non-tactical details, as per the San Bernardino DA’s request.”

The PE editorial writes:

The public focus should not be on Dorner, however, but on those who stopped him.

Yes, focus not on Dorner but on potential police misconduct (that’s not what you mean??), but also on yourselves, the mass media. Why are you still protecting the cops? Why are you still pretending the police did not deliberately set fire to Dorner’s cabin? Yeah, of course some of the cops probably were heroes, but why now the sweeping hero worship when so many were apparent incompetents and criminals in the tragic and tragi-comic pursuit of Dorner?

The PE goes on:

Whatever the faults of police or “the system,” there is no justification for vigilante bloodshed.

But the fault of the police is exactly that, vigilantism. Dorner, who was a veteran police officer, became a vigilante, and so did the police who apparently decided to kill him. But the PE editorial ignores that completely — its entire description of how Dorner died is “Dorner met a violent end in Big Bear on Tuesday …” What, no protagonist? It’s the Fourth Estate’s function to tell the public how he died and who caused it.

Oh hell, Dave says it better, in the PE editorial’s comment section:

Dave Hoover · Top Commenter

Where’s the EDITORIAL on the blatant cover up regarding the ‘burn plan’ huh? What about telling the truth, and how it is the duty of JOURNALISTS to investigate and REPORT what they find when they find it? No columns on that huh? No polls or commentaries other than that which helps tear down what is left of our civil rights! ‘But civil society cannot forgive the settling of slights by the lawless — regardless of whether the killer had any legitimate grievances.’ – this HOLDS TRUE FOR THE POLICE AS WELL!!

We have a widespread and serious problem, and it is violent, vigilante, out of control police. This could not be put any more glaringly on display than during the pursuit of Dorner. Why is the mass media covering its eyes and taping its mouths shut?

“Burn that f***er down” isn’t obvious enough?

2:50 am in Uncategorized by fairleft

We also hear, on that KCAL recording of police audio, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s officer saying/shouting, “Burn [unintelligible] out. … Burn it down. … Burn that motherf**ker.” And then there is a second audio, that you can find at the Guardian, where (presumably) a Sheriff’s Department officer states, “We’re going to go forward with the plan, with the burn … the one that … like we talked about.” Two audios, both pretty clearly authentic, and both indicating the obvious, that the police deliberately set fire to the cabin that Chris Dorner was holed up in.

So why is this the headline everywhere — EVERYWHERE — at the top of mainstream news:

Sheriff: Cabin fire wasn’t intentional

We have very solid evidence that that’s ridiculous. The police more than anyone else know it. The host of that KCAL recording is a police insiders’ site, and almost all the comments below the recording article are like the following:

Posted by choihonghi on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 11:40 PM Pacific
Even if they had really meant burn it down it would have still been a reasonable response as he was trying to kill people.If you start it on fire he will either have to come out or die. Either scenario would be good. If he stayed inside, he would die. Problem solved. If he came out he would either surrender or be shot. Either way problem solved.

Posted by ralicea1 on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 08:12 PM Pacific
If the only way to stop that threat is to burn the cabin down so be it … rather that then another blue getting hurt by the POS.

Another poster responds to such posts:

Posted by RealOscar on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 09:12 PM Pacific
I am amazed by the comments on here. “No reason why the tear gas would set the place afire”, “POS”, “Can’t we scramble our signals?” and “doesn’t matter if they burned him (to death)”. If we want the law enforcement profession to be valued, then we need to act professional, know our duties and limitations and always be above and beyond reproach. Know your equipment and its risks. …

RealOscar is vastly outnumbered among the cops and cop-friendlies at that site, and that’s very sad. But what can we expect these days? Where is support in the mainstream for him and his type of ‘normal’ (to my way of thinking) policing, the kind that doesn’t kill people unnecessarily? Nowhere in the USA. For example, will a single Repub/Dem politician question or condemn the “burn the f**ker down” approach? No, ‘our leaders’ won’t. In fact they and their media will do their best to blackhole the obvious truth, and they’ll top that off by condemning reality speakers with “support the police” rants and claims that those who can hear police audio are ‘conspiracy theorists’.

Other great myfiredoglake diaries and comment threads on the police and Dorner are here and here. Other good links at this Atlantic live blog.

Just for the record, Chris Dorner was a horrible excuse for a justice seeker. Not someone to emulate or respect.

LAPD vs. Hispanic women delivering newspapers

12:46 am in Uncategorized by fairleft

Former police officer Christopher Dorner is suspected in the deaths of a police officer and in two other Los Angeles Police Department related homicides. He has issued a manifesto stating he is out for revenge and to clear his name, saying he was hounded out of the LAPD for reporting incidents of racism and abuse of criminal suspects. The U.S. military has trained him well in killing and the LAPD is right to be fearful of him.

But how does that justify the crazed, homicidal behavior of the LAPD over the past few days?

Incident 1:

5 a.m. on Thursday, Police received a radio call saying a truck matching Dorner’s gray Nissan Titan was spotted near the home of a high-ranking LAPD officer. A few minutes later, a truck rolled down the officer’s street in Torrance. As the vehicle slowly approached, officers at the house opened fire, unloading a barrage of bullets into the back of the truck.

But …

The truck was a Toyota Tacoma not a Nissan Titan.

The color was aqua blue, not gray.

And inside the truck wasn’t Dorner, a large black man, but two not-large Hispanic women — Margie Carranza, 47, and her mother, Emma Hernandez, 71 — delivering newspapers.

But hey, not to worry, folks, the LAPD Chief Charlie Beck has already excused this criminal stupidity: the officers were understandably edgy:

The L.A. Times further reports:

Law enforcement sources told The Times that at least seven officers opened fire. On Friday, the street was pockmarked with bullet holes in cars, trees, garage doors and roofs. Residents said they wanted to know what happened.

“How do you mistake two Hispanic women, one who is 71, for a large black male?” said Richard Goo, 62, who counted five bullet holes in the entryway to his house.

Glen T. Jonas, the attorney representing the women, said the police officers gave “no commands, no instructions and no opportunity to surrender” before opening fire. He described a terrifying encounter in which the pair were in the early part of their delivery route through several South Bay communities. Hernandez was in the back seat handing papers to her daughter, who was driving. Carranza would briefly slow the truck to throw papers on driveways and front walks.

A reader commented (under an LA Times op-ed criticizing Beck for prejudging the officers innocent):

There seems to be two forms of justice being presented here – one for civilians, and one for cops, and based on Beck’s public statements, no charges should be filed, take his word on that. The DA and State Attorney General’s Office need to jump on this case, and start demonstrating some accountability for a myriad of laws that were broken here – assault with a deadly weapon, attempted murder by police officers, multiple counts of assault, and criminal negligence.

Incident 2:

Police seeking Dorner opened fire in a second case of mistaken identity

Damn (!) these people are out of control:

David Perdue was on his way to sneak in some surfing before work Thursday morning when police flagged him down. They asked who he was and where he was headed, then sent him on his way.

Seconds later, Perdue’s attorney said, a Torrance police cruiser slammed into his pickup and officers opened fire; none of the bullets struck Perdue.

His pickup, police later explained, matched the description of the one belonging to Christopher Jordan Dorner — the ex-cop who has evaded authorities after allegedly killing three and wounding two more. But the pickups were different makes and colors. And Perdue looks nothing like Dorner: He’s several inches shorter and about a hundred pounds lighter. And Perdue is white; Dorner is black.

“I don’t want to use the word buffoonery but it really is unbridled police lawlessness,” said Robert Sheahen, Perdue’s attorney. “These people need training and they need restraint.”

So many great comments under that article, but choosing just one (emphasis added):

LL Cool J will be hosting the Grammys this evening, I hope he is not shot due to mistaken Identity. LAPD is one stupid police dept. Our community have been a victim of their mistakes and brutality for decades. The Rodney King incident was one of thousands only that time it was caught on tape. People still didn’t believe it. Oh Well. Dorner had the audacity to cross the thin blue line in other words he snitched. You see what LAPD do to snitches …

Advice: If you live in LA LA land, don’t matter what brand or color, keep the pick-up truck in the driveway. Read the rest of this entry →

Derrion Albert and unfixed police surveillance camera

1:35 pm in Uncategorized by fairleft

Read it and believe, more evidence the Chicago police doesn’t care (or worse) about the poor black high school students of the South Side. They just couldn’t be bothered to fix the surveillance camera that would’ve spotted Derrion Albert’s killers and would have had sharp photographic images of their faces, so the authorities could really tell who they are (at least one of the five arrested has multiple witnesses saying he was somewhere else) and prosecute them, rather than just picking up ‘likely suspects’, some of whom will be innocent. Here’s most of the news report (style corrections added):

Police Camera Broken When Student Was Beaten to Death
October 15, 2009, 9:37 PM
By Darlene Hill

Chicago – Chicago’s Blue Light Cameras are supposed to catch criminals in the act, but one of them on the south side was broken when the neighborhood needed it most. . . .

“I had hoped that it had been repaired,” said Alderman Carrie Austin, about the mounted camera at the corner of 111th and Normal, a police camera that three weeks ago was broken. The camera is also less than a block away from where honor roll student Derrion Albert was beaten to death. . . .

[Police Superintendent Jody] Weis says other cameras in the area captured images but not faces like the video [FoxNews Chicago] shared. What he didn’t say is that the police camera with the blue lights wasn’t rolling when Albert was being stomped and punched.

Alderman Austin had notified the police at least a week before the death of Derrion Albert that the camera was not working:

“There was an incident maybe a week and a half before [the Derrion Albert beating, when] I made a complaint, that maybe they would be able to see the suspects of the fight then and they could not get any data from it. So I knew it wasn’t working.”

And here’s another example of the relationship between Chicago’s poorer public school students and the Chicago police. Listen to Chicago Public Radio reporter/producer Linda Lutton:

A year ago this week I was at [Chicago's] Robeson High School reporting another story. . . . It was October 16, about 3 PM, sunny…Students were leaving school. I was driving out of the parking lot when I saw one of Robeson’s assigned police officers grab a boy and slam him against a police car.

The officer raised his arm and hammered the side of the boy’s head, smashing it into the car. Another officer held the boy, even though he wasn’t putting up a fight. The first officer punched him in the face again.

I stopped my car and scrambled to turn on my tape recorder…This is all I got—the police sending away the crowd of kids who??d gathered.

POLICE: Get the f*** away now! Get this motherf***** in the back of your car!

I headed for a group of kids who saw the beating.

LUTTON: Did you see it?

GIRL: Yes I did. OK. The little boy was walking he looked like he was on his way home. The police just ran up on him, grabbed him from behind, boom boom boom—started punching him all in his face.

All this only amplifies what I’ve been saying, that the Chicago police are uncaring, belligerent, alien, no-hope occupiers of the impoverished South Side, and that that police attitude has to change. Specifically:

The disturbance you see on the video [the beating of Derrion Albert] or similar was a near-daily event, to be anticipated and prevented (see Fenger beating death: Violence, tension had been building over years). Get it, cops? Crime prevention. Where were you?

In other Chicago police closing the barn door after the cows leave news (emphasis added):

[Police superintendent] Weis said there’ll be a new emphasis on intelligence-gathering and information-sharing between police and schools on a daily basis to respond to trouble spots.

Of course, since the beating death of Derrion Albert (and many or most similar incidents) took place several blocks from school, Weis might want to consider what I’ve pushed, ‘a new emphasis on intelligence-gathering and information-sharing between police and the neighborhood.’ School management are also largely outsiders, what the police and the poor urban communities need are neighborhood watch capabilities. Are the police willing to work closely with the people actually living in the poor black neighborhood or aren’t they? So far, “aren’t they.”

One reason we should focus at least some blame on the police, besides the fact that public safety and security is their responsibility, is that the conflict among rival groups of Fenger High School students was entirely predictable. The city closed some students’ neighborhood high school (rampant school closings in poor neighborhoods a phenomenon fully backed by President Obama and Chicago Mayor Daley; see Safety at Fenger yields to ‘reform’ and Teachers talk: ‘Reform’ and student murder in Chicago) this summer and transferred its students , many from the Altgeld Garden projects, many miles away to Fenger High School. And, uh, like the following subtitle says: Fighting between teens in public housing, neighborhoods not new. Aren’t the police supposed to be prepared, as in prepared, for such dead obvious stuff?

So, is it gonna be the same old, same old, brief spotlight and then ignore for another few years? I tend to believe what Fenger parent Marquita McAlister has to say:

“This isn’t the first time a child has gotten killed around here, but this is the first time all of these people have come out,” said Marquita McAlister, who said she was a parent of a Fenger student.

“My daughter was cut from one end of her face to the other and no one did anything,” she said.

McAlister claimed that the mother of the young woman who cut her daughter was a security guard at the school.

“They left my daughter outside to bleed to death,” she said.

“It was kids with cell phones who called an ambulance. This violence hasn’t just started,” she said.

Ronika Black, who lives in Roseland, was outraged over how the school was being run.

“My children have to go to this school. I don’t have car fare to send them anywhere else,” Black said.

“They opened this school up and said everything has changed. Nothing has changed,” she said.

Another good read:

South side high schooler Bruce McFall, 17, crosses Halsted Street at 123rd Street to catch a bus to Corliss High School. “I don’t think too much about it,” McFall says of the area’s violence. “Because who’s gonna change it?”