Prejudice and Bigotry in Law Enforcement

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by Tiassa, Jun 23, 2020.

  1. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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  3. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    I've learned my most excellent social skills from you. Thanks, dad.
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  5. billvon Valued Senior Member

    You work at it. You don't deny it exists. You stop saying things like "the white race" and "there's no racism" and "pretty much anyone can decide to leave black ghettos" and "it's their choice." You educate people on their conscious and unconscious biases. Things like that.
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  7. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    At the Intersection of ...?

    So, hey, have you heard the one about the head of New York SBA having a Qanon coffee mug in the frame for his remote television interviews?
  8. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    As noted before in this forum, repeatedly: Widely cited and emphasized statistical errors in politically fraught matters of public discussion in the US disproportionately break one way. A thread relevant example:
  9. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    There are no "plain facts" in that post.

    Those are selected facts carefully and intentionally taken out of meaningful context, that have no relevance or role in this thread and this context except one: they are used in exactly that way by hardcore bona fide overt racists to argue for the existence of a "US black" racial propensity to violent crime in the US.

    That post in this thread, with those facts presented in that manner ("only") in this context, presents an argument - not a list of random facts that show up out of the blue. We have no obligation in reason or courtesy to pretend otherwise. As an argument it is a stereotype, a word for word flagrantly racist meme in the US. You've seen it dozens of times, in circumstances just like this. Denying its reality by granting a spurious benefit of doubt to its construction as innuendo is bs.

    It is a racist setup for the racist argument in support of the racist conclusions that both preceded and followed it on this thread. That is straight up racism - stereotypical stuff.
    cluelusshusbund likes this.
  10. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    At the intersection of law enforcement and what?

    So, the larger story involves a crowdfunding data breach, and, per the Guardian, "revealed the details of some donors who had previously attempted to conceal their identities using GiveSendGo's anonymity feature, but whose identifying details the website preserved".

    The beneficiaries of donations from public officials include Kyle Rittenhouse, who stands accused of murdering two leftwing protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last August. Rittenhouse traveled from neighboring Illinois to, by his own account, offer armed protection to businesses during protests over the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

    Rittenhouse, who became a cause célèbre across conservative media throughout late 2020, and was even supported by then president Donald Trump, held a fundraiser on GiveSendGo billed as a contribution to his legal defense. According to data from the site, he raised $586,940 between 27 August last year and 7 January .

    Among the donors were several associated with email addresses traceable to police and other public officials.

    One donation for $25, made on 3 September last year, was made anonymously, but associated with the official email address for Sgt William Kelly, who currently serves as the executive officer of internal affairs in the Norfolk police department in Virginia.

    That donation also carried a comment, reading: “God bless. Thank you for your courage. Keep your head up. You've done nothing wrong.”

    The comment continued: “Every rank and file police officer supports you. Don't be discouraged by actions of the political class of law enforcement leadership.”


    To a certain degree, it isn't really a question of who is stupid enough to use their workplace email for something like this, but, rather, observing that to these people, there is nothing awry, amiss, or otherwise dubious about what they are doing. That is to say, perhaps Sgt. William Kelly, executive officer of Norfolk PD Internal Affairs, doesn't see anything wrong in what Kyle Rittenhouse did. A Livermore engineer offered an excuse that passed muster; the Guardian article goes on to note, "Lynda Seaver, director of public affairs at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, wrote in an email that Michael Crosley had made 'an honest mistake', and had 'never intended to use his Lab email on this matter'." The question of what it means to donate to that particular endeavor remains mysterious, though we might observe the donation page↱ narrative dubiously describes Rittenhouse, who crossed state lines and used a strawbought rifle to kill two, as, "someone who bravely tried to defend his community".

    Perhaps it doesn't seem so big a deal when it's a Livermore engineer, or maybe the EMT saving your life. And there are, in fact, justifiable reasons to donate to a legal defense fund.

    But at the intersection of law enforcement and Kyle Rittenhouse, we find an executive officer of an Internal Affairs department telling a killer that "every rank and file officer supports" crossing state lines to use a strawbought rifle to kill people who are upset about police violence.

    So, remember: If this is your occasion to cry, "Not all cops!" you're disagreeing with the executive officer of Norfolk PD Internal Affairs.

    And, sure, maybe it's time for another reminder to not use work email for personal affairs, but it does start to matter, at some point, what "rank and file" cops consider "courage".


    Friends of the Rittenhouse Family. "Raise money for Kyle Rittenhouse Legal Defense ". GiveSendGo. 28 August 2020. 16 April 2021.

    Wilson, Jason. "US police and public officials donated to Kyle Rittenhouse, data breach reveals". The Guardian. 16 April 2021. 16 April 2021.
  11. Vociferous Valued Senior Member


    There is nothing wrong with unabashedly defending the immanently defensible.
    And you'd know that if you didn't have a horribly mangled view of the facts.
    1. The gun didn't cross state lines.
    2. It wasn't a strawman bought gun.
    3. Both deaths were in self defense.
    4. Not just because they were "upset about police violence".

    And you have the gall to repeat those lies twice. Either your own dishonesty or ignorance on display.
  12. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Well, let's account for these:

    Enumerating this among alleged "lies" means you can show the claim that the gun crossed state lines.

    Straw, not strawman. It's called a straw purchase. See your point 1 for an example of a straw man. Or, actually, the whole of your post.

    Such as the facts go, one Dominick Black, of Kenosha, Wisconsin, was charged with two counts for providing a gun to Kyle Rittenhouse. NBC News↱ reported:

    The complaint says Black told authorities that over the summer he received money for the Smith & Wesson M&P 15 rifle from Rittenhouse, his friend, who was too young to have legally purchased the weapon himself ....

    .... According to the criminal complaint against Black, the weapon used in the shootings was purchased on May 1 at the Wisconsin gun store Ladysmith Ace Home Center by Black, who prosecutors claim was “aware” Rittenhouse could not have made the purchase himself. Since Rittenhouse was an Illinois resident he also did not have an Illinois Firearm Owner Identification card, so the pair agreed to have the weapon stored at Black's stepfather's house in Kenosha, the complaint says.

    It's a straw purchase, a strawbought rifle.

    This is Rittenhouse's criminal defense, but we should also remember that one does not travel across a state line to use a strawbought rifle to kill people. Compared to the fundraiser page, for instance, it is absurd to suggest one drives to another state to use an illegally obtained weapon in order to defend his community. Carrying a rifle you have conspired to acquire illegally, while deliberately breaking the law—("The complaint stated Black 'volunteered to go out after curfew' and 'asked Mr. Rittenhouse to join him'.")—is not a particularly strong setup for a self-defense claim.

    Moreover, inasmuch as you're complaining about "lies", it's hard to see where you're going with this.

    Do try to make sense, from time to time. You can't call something "lies" just because you want to disagree.

    But between your fallacy, falsehood, and two irrelevancies, sure, it's another performance reminding what sort of low ethic it takes to justify the conservative politic.


    Sykes, Stefan. "19-year-old charged with illegally supplying gun to Kyle Rittenhouse". NBC News. 10 November 2020. 18 April 2021.
  13. Vociferous Valued Senior Member

    You're right. I misread that. You only claimed Rittenhouse crossed state lines, which isn't illegal. So your inclusion of that is purely superfluous.

    While "straw purchase" is the common term, it does derive from straw man, as the buyer is a fake stand-in for the actual buyer.

    If found guilty, that would make Black guilty of a felony, not Rittenhouse.
    According to Wisconsin law and if proven in court, Rittenhouse would only be guilty of a misdemeanor for possession of the gun.
    But if convicted, yes, Rittenhouse would have used a straw purchased rifle.
    Why? Did you see anyone support him for doing that specifically? Or do you just assume any support must, for whatever reason, include everything he did that night?

    I apologize for accusing you of spreading lies. I was wrong.

    Did you mean "to defend yourself" instead of "to kill people"?
    I'm under the impression the latter is exactly what you think he did.

    Rittenhouse certainly seemed to know he could not legally take the rifle to Illinois (without him having a permit for it there), but assuming he knew better than the 19 year old, or conspired with him to break Wisconsin state law seems a bit presumptuous. Your own quote of the complaint would seem to imply that Black, an adult, encouraged Rittenhouse, a minor.

    Still, breaking laws, whether knowingly or not, does not change the fact of self-defense. A minor putting himself in a bad position does not mean he cannot then defend himself.

    You're right again. You didn't say that was why they were killed. Sorry, it's really late here.

    But you do seem to gloss over the fact that both were an immediate threat to Rittenhouse.
  14. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    [#Qupdate | #Qops]

    At the intersection of Throwback and Whatnow?

    These fifteen months later:

    The controversial president of the union representing NYPD sergeants resigned Tuesday after federal investigators searched the union's headquarters and his home.

    Sergeants Benevolent Association President Ed Mullins resigned at the request of the union's board, the board said in a letter to its membership late Tuesday.

    "The nature and scope of this criminal investigation has yet to be determined," the board's letter said. "However, it is clear that President Mullins is apparently the target of the federal investigation. We have no reason to believe that any other member of the SBA is involved or targeted in this matter."

    Mullins' abrupt departure came after federal investigators descended Tuesday on the SBA's lower Manhattan headquarters and Mullins' Long Island home.

    (Brown, et al.↱)

    While the investigation itself remains mysterious, Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY15), who Mullins once denounced as a "first-class whore", had a few things to say about the thirty-nine year veteran of the NYPD:

    “I've long felt there's nothing benevolent about Ed Mullins of the Sergeants Benevolent Association," Torres told The News. “We've long known he's morally corrupt. But maybe he's legally corrupt too. He has no business in the NYPD ... He should have been fired a long time ago."

    Toward that, the notorious union boss already faces an internal probe for his social media conduct. But there is probably something more going on with the FBI investigation than having called a doctor a bitch on Twitter.


    Brown, Stephen Rex, Noah Goldberg, Michael Gartland, Brittany Kriegstein, and Larry McShane. "Controversial chief of NYPD sergeants union resigns after FBI raids union's Manhattan headquarters, searches his Long Island home". New York Daily News. 5 October 2021. 5 October 2021.
  15. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    "It's not that your excuses are shocking. It's not, believe me. We've heard and had to put up with worse. What is shocking is that people … still think these are viable arguments to defend white supremacy."


    In 2019, a series of articles emerged describing relationships between law enforcement officers and political identities expressing white supremacist, insurrectionist attitudes and goals; a year later, we tried giving them some thought, here; see #1↑, 5↑-6↑ above.

    Carless and Corey↱, reported, two and a half years ago:

    In the years since he founded the Oath Keepers in 2009, Stewart Rhodes has made a bold claim: Within the ranks of his sprawling anti-government militia are thousands of retired and active law enforcement officers.

    Rhodes’ organization embraces wild conspiracy theories. Like the Three Percenters and other militia groups, the Oath Keepers refuse to recognize the authority of the federal government. Instead, many inside the movement claim that local sheriffs and police chiefs are the highest-ranking officials in America and that the Constitution is the only legitimate law governing the United States. It is part of a broader militia movement that has proven to be a breeding ground for racism and domestic terrorism.

    It’s been difficult to figure out whether Rhodes’ claims were real or simply bluster, because of the secretive nature of the movement and because cops tend to keep their militia affiliations quiet, fearing disciplinary action.

    While the full scale and reach of the Oath Keepers remains at least somewhat mysterious, this is what it comes to:

    Stewart Rhodes, the founder and leader of the far-right Oath Keepers militia group, and 10 other members or associates have been charged with seditious conspiracy in the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol, authorities said Thursday.

    Despite hundreds of charges already brought in the year since pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol in an effort to stop the certification of President Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory, these were the first seditious conspiracy charges levied in connection with the attack on Jan. 6, 2021.

    It marked a serious escalation in the largest investigation in the Justice Department’s history – more than 700 people have been arrested and charged with federal crimes – and highlighted the work that has gone into piecing together the most complicated cases. The charges rebut, in part, the growing chorus of Republican lawmakers who have publicly challenged the seriousness of the insurrection, arguing that since no one had been charged yet with sedition or treason, it could not have been so violent.

    (Associated Press↱)

    Insofar as the pretense that someone would take it so far is officially no longer surprising, we can also note this was a question of scale. As Carless and Corey explained, over two years ago:

    In 2008, with the election of Barack Obama as president, militia groups began actively recruiting again, spurred on by the racist “birther” movement, which questioned Obama’s nationality and thus his legitimacy as president. Both the Three Percenters and Oath Keepers were founded out of the fear that he was about to start taking away Americans’ guns ....

    .... The core principle of the Oath Keepers is that members take an oath to defend the Constitution above all else. The group describes its aims in theoretically reasonable terms, noting on its website that enlisted military personnel are obligated to refuse any order that “is not constitutional or according to regulations” and listing a “declaration of orders we will not obey,” which includes orders to disarm American citizens, impose martial law or set up concentration camps in U.S. cities.

    However, in practice, the group’s actions have proved problematic, giving militia members justification to take the law into their own hands, often at gunpoint and often in conflict with law enforcement agencies assigned to keep Americans safe.

    In 2019, the Oath Keepers consulted with a militia group working as vigilantes purporting to patrol the border; the FBI would later arrest the leader of United Constitutional Patriots, after which local police uprooted the UCP campsite. Several years before that, Oath Keepers participated in the 2014 standoff at the Bundy ranch, and then in Oregon when Bundy family and other militia gathered to protect two federal convicts; the lawyer eventually sent a written memo to law enforcement expressing that the militia activity did not agree with, and did not want help from, the militia.

    So, no, the idea that Stewart Rhodes has done something sufficient for prosecutors to test the turbulent waters of charging sedition seems considerably less surprising. If we recall Cineas↗ and the prospect that "white extremists are often infantilized and given room to work out their feelings and blow off steam", the time of Stewart Rhodes and the Oath Keepers ought to make the point; this isn't some Crying Nazi who first got famous in comedy circles for harassing women, or idiotic masculinist attorney who charmed his way to comedic fame by being a white guy who could dance to rap.

    Rhodes, whose credentials include Army paratrooper and Yale-educated attorney, is the leader of a group claiming membership including thousands of current and former law enforcers and military personnel; he and ten others stand indicted of seditious conspiracy—they are, essentially, accused of attempting to overthrow the government of the United States.

    We might consider history; Carless and Corey suggest—

    In 2008, with the election of Barack Obama as president, militia groups began actively recruiting again, spurred on by the racist “birther” movement, which questioned Obama’s nationality and thus his legitimacy as president. Both the Three Percenters and Oath Keepers were founded out of the fear that he was about to start taking away Americans’ guns.

    —and if we think back through time, consider how well who would have taken the suggestion that such groups were founded as white supremacist, insurrectionist rejections of the American pluralistic and democratic myth so many of them had previously promoted. It's not actually hard to imagine, since we heard plenty over the period about how such liberal accusations somehow created what they complained of, as if some liberal suggested white supremacism and victimized conservatives just couldn't help themselves; you know, like a moralizing lecture about how some kind of paternalism and condescension is one reason why Trump was elected. It is not so much that there are plenty who should be ashamed, but, rather, a question of whether they have any shame left to give; the cover given traditionalist supremacism has been shameless for a while.

    Think of it this way: The only reason we ought to have rejected the prospect of a white supremacist, insurrectionist refusal of American democracy is that Americans long presumed themselves better than that. For all it was obvious, and had been for a long time, that American supremacism considered law and justice its own instruments of infliction, was that people were willing to make excuses, and supremacists had nothing to fear as long as they were in charge.

    But the people who insisted on making excuses have none left to make for themselves. Even in the time of this thread, it's easy enough to find people making excuses and giving cover. And a critical review of history will show that, much like Osama bin Laden, the supremacists gave warning years in advance; we ought to have known what was coming.

    Still, though, it was all of eighteen months after the Reveal articles that Stewart Rhodes attempted to disrupt the workings of the U.S. government in order to overturn an election. Even then, though, memory suggests it should have been hard to imagine. But we also should account for how much of that would have been the presumption that nobody was actually that stupid; perhaps the hardest part of imagining was projecting just how it would go.

    The analytical chatter suggests this one only gets more spectacular as we go. The implications for law enforcement, given claims about Oath Keeper membership, could be profound.

    And for Rhodes, it only took, what, a little under twelve years? And all the excuses, all the infantilization of rightist, supremacist, militant talk and behavior, is shown to be pretty much what wisdom would have thought.


    Balsamo, Michael, Colleen Long, and Alanna Durkin Richer. "Seditious conspiracy: 11 Oath Keepers charged in Jan. 6 riot". Associated Press. 14 January 2022. 15 January 2022.

    Carless, Will and Michael Corey. "The American militia movement, a breeding ground for hate, is pulling in cops on Facebook". Reveal. 24 June 2019. 15 January 2022.

    Cineas, Fabiola. "Whiteness is at the core of the insurrection". Vox. 8 January 2021. 15 January 2022.
  16. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Brief Notes on Stewart Rhodes

    Rhodes' attorney Jon Mosely points to Donald Trump, claimed on CNN↱ that various action plans detailed in the indictments was about other events. He also suggested Oath Keepers were expecting Trump to call them to service:

    And it was about their somewhat fanciful idea that they thought the president was going to call them up under the Insurrection Act, which I don't pretend to understand. But they were quite fixated on the idea that Trump was going to activate them, as a militia, under the Insurrection Act.

    It is a little less confident than predicting champagne↱ on a yacht purchased with the payout for malicious prosecution, and, moreover, Brianna Kielar pressed the question, referring to communications among Oath Keepers on January 6 referring to "what we f-ing trained for".

    It's an extraordinary interview, and easy enough to overlook that Mosely, in referring to protest permits and the idea that summoning personnel to the Capitol was somehow connected to the political rally, reminds it is a short list to connect the Oath Keepers to the Trump administration and Republican members of Congress.


    There is also some reporting describing↱ how Stewart Rhodes was arrested. Apparently, in the week before the Wednesday Putsch, Rhodes bought over twenty-two thousand dollars worth of firearms and gear, and over seventeen thousand in the weeks after. And, apparently, his whereabouts were unknown for a period of weeks, but then, as the story goes, he started selling off the guns and gear, and the website where he posted the stuff easily allowed the FBI to find him in Little Elm, Texas, at the home of a licensed private investigator who runs some sort of intel intel firm.


    Speaking of guns, there is also the story of how Stewart Rhodes got that eye patch. Nearly thirty years ago, the former Green Beret worked as a firearms instructor↱, apparently shooting himself in the face when he dropped a loaded handgun.


    In any other once upon a time, we probably wouldn't even remember that Stewart Rhodes, after his time at Yale, volunteered to work for Ron Paul's presidential campaign.


    @nate_thayer. "But the TX gun trading site allows one to ID the IP address of the gun seller, which came back to a home in the small town of Little Elm, TX". Twitter. 14 January 2022. 15 January 2022.

    —————. "How the FBI located #Oathkeepers head Stewart Rhodes to arrest him for seditious conspiracy. Rhodes was living in Granbury, Texas, but quietly moved out months ago, opened a PO Box, and his physical whereabouts were unclear for weeks. Until he started selling his guns online.../1". (thread) Twitter. 14 Januaary 2022. 15 January 2022.

    @NewDay. "The DOJ charged the Oath Keepers leader, Stewart Rhodes, with 'seditious conspiracy' related to Jan. 6 riot. The group's planning 'was about their fanciful idea that ... Trump was going to activate them as a militia under the insurrection act,' says his attorney Jon Moseley." Twitter. 14 January 2022. 15 January 2022.

    Giglio, Mike. "A Pro-Trump Militant Group Has Recruited Thousands of Police, Soldiers, and Veterans". The Atlantic. November, 2020. 15 January 2022.
  17. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

    Grabbed the wrong post for some reason so i deleted the post

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