It Wasn’t Just Walter Scott: The North Charleston Police Department Has a Shocking Record of Abuse Allegations
From the article:
Sheldon Williams was sleeping at a Budget Inn in North Charleston, South Carolina, when five police officers entered his motel room. After finding Williams hiding under a mattress, the officers pinned the unarmed man to the concrete floor, handcuffed him, and then began stomping on his face. Williams, an African-American, was unarmed and never accused of resisting arrest.
Charging this cop with “murder” is the prelude to an acquittal. Clearly there was no premeditation involved, and no jury could possibly support a murder conviction in this case. I knew immediately “murder” would be the charge here because prosecutors in my state routinely over-charge cops who they think shouldn’t be prosecuted. Those who are thinking this will be the case where the justice system finally cracks down on police brutality are seriously deluding themselves.There’s no way a DA in this country is going to put a cop in jail for killing a criminal suspect. Relying on a DA to seriously prosecute this case is like relying on a Democratic President to seriously regulate Wall Street.
@Signe_S Experts on t.v. tonight stated that the law USED to be that cops could shoot fleeing suspects — but that law was changed in 1985. Cops are no longer allowed to shoot fleeing suspects; they’re supposed to chase them. The only way those white cops have been getting away with shooting suspects in the back is by lying in their reports, as we saw this Charleston cop try to do. Fortunately he got caught, and so did the other officers who arrived on the scene later and told the same lies he told in their reports. He’s in jail for murder, and hopefully these other cops will be fired and charged with being accessories after the fact as well — all thanks to the video.
Sorry folks, we simply didn’t see the 1 second before the filming started. The doctrine of sovereign immunity, vastly expanded in 2011 by our Supreme Court, makes defending this a breeze. The argument is just what I started with – we didn’t see what happened before the filming started and deadly force can be used against a “fleeing felon”.
There are two ways to avoid being shot like this man was:(1) Don’t have a skin color different than the “LEO” (all cops are lions these days); and,(2) Be born into a family with a huge amount of money.Absent those two simple solutions, we’re all targets.I keep my Insurance card and the auto’s title and registration under the driver’s side sun shade – so I have both hands up and visible when retrieving them.
pkingiam @ groconnor
Your first point is an interesting one that I’ve been thinking of since I saw the tape.You’re right (and it needs to be shouted from the rooftops). A cop can legally shoot you in the back as you flee, if that cop has a “reasonable belief” that you are an immediate threat to the community. If we remember past cases (Zimmerman, Wilson, etc), it should be very clear that this murderer could walk on this reasonable belief nonsense. I’d be willing to bet good money that the trolls will be working this angle in no time. I’m a little surprised they aren’t already.Still, I have a cynical hope in this case. This is not like Ferguson. There is actual footage of the cop murdering a fleeing man. If this guy gets off, there’d be chaos. People were angry after Ferguson, and things got tense. There were riots after Rodney king, and that was just footage of a beating. This is footage of a man being gunned down. If he gets off, the streets would fill with righteous rage, fires will burn and people will die. I fear lots of people.The powers that be aren’t so stupid as to not see this. I think this cop might be sacrificed out of a simple cost benefit decision.I guess, really, I don’t know what is going to happen.
pkingiam @ GTWilson @ groconnor
Sorry, bud. You’re wrong.Tennessee v. Garner found that an officer could use lethal force on an unarmed fleeing individual, if the officer reasonably believes the suspect is a threat to the community.From the majority opinion:“This case requires us to determine the constitutionality of the use of deadly force to prevent the escape of an apparently unarmed suspected felon. We conclude that such force may not be used unless it is necessary to prevent the escape and the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others.”You can read the case if you want.
Wow,Officer Slager(‘slayer)has confirmed what many Americans have always suspected about some law enforcement protocols and ‘practices.The conclusion is,there is no ‘protocol,besides chewin’ tobacco and a sense on invincibility.Something else bothers me here.The person who made the video,had to have been seen by the cop,particularly when the videographer climbs the fence,for better footage.Yet neither officer attempts a glance in his direction.My question is, has the sense of certainty,on behalf of police,become such a ‘given that ‘witnesses,have become more or less…irrelevant?(the ‘other cop at the scene was African American and appeared surprisingly stoic)I’ll stop here,as my astonishment with this case,continues to ‘complicate,my thought process.If ‘authorities have this much disregard for ‘Us…we’er in deep…’Doo doo.
Here’s a hint as to how common this behavior is. Look for videos of violent police stops and shootings as well as physical brutality toward people who are not even suspects. You’ll see that the cops’ partners are unfazed. For example:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzO-EhNrKT0Observe in this video how the punching cop’s female partner holds the woman and does not even flinch as she is punched. She’s there to hold her for the punch and push her down. This is plainly something these two have done many times.Look at any such video. When do you ever see any cop saying, “Whoa, whoa, take it easy” to their partner? Never. They’ve all done the intimidation and the weapon/drug drop hundreds of times.They’ve all participated in beatdowns hundreds of times. They think it’s their job.
America was begging for this kind of vigilante policing in the 1980s. I remember it vividly. There was this hysteria about violent crime, which was sort of high, not that high — but the media made it sound fifty times worse.
Now we have tens of thousands of Dirty Harry wannabes beating the Christ out of anybody they want, and slaughtering the ones who resist. They’re going for people of color because they can get away with it. They’d go for anybody if they thought they could.And the media is doing its best to pretend this is only a smattering of isolated stories, nothing… well, you know, racist or anything. Or police-as-gangs. Just a few bad apples, maybe a few bad departments, the occasional bad state, a couple of bad regions… cough.I’m so glad to be living overseas now. Here, the police are for getting drunks safely home.