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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Dude, Where's My Camera?

What's not to love about New York City cops? They're brave and tough. They get there quickly and they take care of the city that doesn't sleep ~ keeping it safe from any possible additional terrorist attacks.

But there's a dark side to the American cop on the beat.

The Dark Side of The Men In Blue (OccupyWallSt.org, 2011)
It comes with the very nature of who applies to be a police officer in the USA. If you are the physical type, that enjoys a good ass kicking now and then, and you are searching for a career choice, it would seem that some sort of "protection services" might be the just the gig you're looking for. Unless you are planning on becoming a no-holds-bar-overseas-outside-the-justice-system-contract killer, and who wants all that travel anyway, you might find yourself attracted to joining The Force. Even the International Business News (UK) reports that, there are always a certain percentage, that come along with those who protect and serve and are compassionate, and they are the assholes, and the bigots, and the bullies.  And sometimes, they get to have their day.

But how many Rodney King's can we have? How many African Americans have needed to sit on a sidewalk next to their car for no reason? How many guards have gotten away with the slow torture of a human while doing time for a crime?

Michael Moore Late Night At Wall St (OccupyWallSt.Org, 2011)
NY Daily News has said that from 2007 to 2009 the number of officers with NYPD who received civilian complaints were up nearly 50%. Because of excessive force claims, in 2009 alone 315 of the 35,000 of officers were enrolled in a monitoring program created by the NYPD. Despite complaints of excessive force, many more incidents of go unreported because citizens are afraid. So the NYPD in Blue created a program to monitor these complaints back in 2007 and while keeping track of reports, they found that 90% of the reported cases where violent tactics were used the individual subjected to "use of force" was not even arrested. That kind of tells you everything you need to know right there. Many of those cases involved an officer drawing his weapon. In fact in four out of every five cases in which a weapon was pulled no arrest was made. In the vast majority of those cases involving a gun being drawn the officers justified that "use of force" because they suspected the individual possessed a weapon even when no weapon was actually found.

This isn't a new phenomenon, and last night Lawrence O'Donnell showed what shining a little spotlight on those who have crossed that line can do. According to all sources, the problem children where in fact the Men in White. 

Some Familiar Faces Visit To Support (OccupyWallStreet.org, 2011)
Reuters says that the Occupation Of Wall Street is evolving as a result. As of 3:00 p.m. Eastern today, they are claiming that The Occupy Wall Street movement was planning on Friday (tomorrow) an unauthorized demonstration on the streets outside the New York City police center of operations.

This evening at 8:00 PM, Senator Bernie Sanders addressed the protesters.

According to our friends over at PoliticsUSA, on Countdown With Keith Olbermann tonight, Sen. Bernie Sanders became the first US Senator to voice his support for Occupy Wall Street. (Video) Sanders said, “What I appreciate about what’s going on in New York right now is that there is a spotlight being focused on Wall Street. We desperately need that. If we are going to get out of this recession, if we’re going to create the millions of jobs we desperately need, we need real Wall Street reform"
Al Sharpton Lending His Name To Cause (OccupyWallSt.org)

We are gonna need some reform. The right thing to do now would be to get a consensus on how to word a petition and ask for Police Department Reform & Training, nationwide. You're thinking a petition takes time, it's a pain in the neck, etc.

Well, take a millisecond and check out this new link: www.whitehouse.gov/petition.

They have the coolest new feature over at The White House's website, and if you set up a petition on specific matter (really easy to do) and you pass it around to your friends (keyboard ready), and it gets 5,000 signatures, only 5,000, they promise to take the matter up.  Usually you would take months to create a petition and then run around getting 100,000 signatures before one of your Senator's assistants would answer your call.  Not anymore. You could start a petition to repeal the Citizen United decision while you are at it. Hard to complain to a true policy geek, 'cause she'll tell you exactly how to solve the problem right then and there. So ~ petitions, check, doable, check, timely, check.

Now go make a petition.  Not sure what to ask for? Google the word petition, and see what other people have asked for over time. Self educate. That's a fine trait of A Policy Geek.

You know we tend to fly south for the winter, right?  Wonk, wonk.

Lisa Lindo

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