Showing posts with label Safety. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Safety. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Officer Derek Chauvin Was More That Just a Bad Apple

 


Officer Derek Chauvin of the Minneapolis Police Department was a walking liability and a threat to public safety long before he encountered George Floyd last summer.

In November 2013, Minneapolis police pulled over LaSean Braddock shortly after midnight as he drove home from a double shift as a mental health worker at Hennepin County Medical Center.

Braddock, 48, said he had grown somewhat accustomed to being stopped by police because his identity had been stolen and he was sometimes mistaken for the man who had been using his name. He carried paperwork with him from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension as proof, he said, so the stops were usually brief: He would show the paperwork to officers; they'd review it and let him go. But the officer at his driver's side window that day stuffed the documents in his pocket without looking at them, Braddock said.

When he hesitated to get out of the car, the officer aggressively hit the driver's side window with a flashlight, Braddock said. Two officers then tried to pull him from the car before he got out on his own. 

 "Then they tried to slam me on the ground, but I was about 240 pounds," Braddock said, adding that although he still was unsure why he was stopped, he complied to avoid injury. " Then they jumped on my head and my neck and my back. I was lying flat on the ground."

More than six years later, Braddock saw one of those officers again as he watched a harrowing video of George Floyd's final moments. Derek Chauvin, Braddock said, was one of the officers who had treated him roughly. A police report from that night confirms that Chauvin was one of the arresting officers.

This speaks to the depravity of Chauvin as a person. He was a battering ram of a cop, ready to use force without provocation. How many other cases of police brutality are there? I wouldn't trust the Minneapolis Police Department to have a firm handle on those statistics in relation to Chauvin and the other officers who were present when Chauvin murdered Floyd at the intersection of 38th and Chicago in South Minneapolis. What else are we missing here?

There has to be a significant restructuring and reorganization of the police force in virtually all of our major cities. The people hired to be cops have to rise above the possibility that they might be a "bad apple" in the bunch. They have to be screened out and removed when their conduct is revealed.

That means dealing with the fact that some police unions aren't actually there to protect the rights of cops in relation to the benefits and pay provided by their municipal employers. They're there to make sure bad cops aren't held accountable. They're right wing advocacy groups, in other words, and opposed to reform. 

I'm all for raising the pay and raising the standards for who gets to be a cop. It should be a difficult process to get to be a cop, one that involves identifying anyone who might be a psychopath. It should pay well and offer some level of prestige. And I also want to see mental health workers integrated into police activity and public safety initiatives. I want those people to be paid more than they are so they can be held to a higher standard.

And if you have to raise taxes to do it, raise the fucking taxes. Do it now.

 

Saturday, September 12, 2020

No More QAnon Bullshit


This has to stop:
Police and local officials on the West Coast are battling multiple raging fires. They're also fighting a wave of misinformation from false rumors spread in neighborhood Facebook groups and on far-right websites that antifa activists were setting the blazes.
At least six groups have issued warnings about the false rumors, including some pleading with the public to stop sharing the misinformation.

“Rumors spread just like wildfire and now our 9-1-1 dispatchers and professional staff are being overrun with requests for information and inquiries on an UNTRUE rumor that 6 Antifa members have been arrested for setting fires in DOUGLAS COUNTY, OREGON,” the Douglas County Sheriff's Office wrote in a Facebook post on Thursday.
The false claims also became fodder for the now-sizable online QAnon community, which began amplifying various false reports earlier in the week.
Whatever needs to be done to regulate the flow of misinformation and put a stop to it has to start with understanding that it affects public safety. People are dying because they are being mislead intentionally in order to spread a dangerous conspiracy theory/ideology through mass hysteria. This is the kind of actual hysteria that kills people. QAnon is the asshole who yells 'fire' in a crowded movie theater, laughs when people are trampled, and gets away with it because Facebook says its alright to do these things.

This is unbelievable. This is what law enforcement has to deal with? Seriously?

This is a form of domestic terrorism. Not only is it being used to ratfuck an election, it's a threat to public safety.

The attorneys general for these Western states need to have a quick confab and begin with putting together a lawsuit against any social media company that actively entertains and spreads QAnon information. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Fox News -- they are all liable for this. Any Republican spreading it should be liable as well. Start with massive fines and criminal prosecutions for disseminating threats and information that deal directly with public safety considerations.

Once the fines hit, and once these companies realize that they need to de-platform the people who spread QAnon misinformation, it will probably take years to deprogram the acolytes of stupidity. And if this was just about wacky hats and memes on comment threads, that would be one thing. We have individuals with guns ready to shoot people because they are inundated with bullshit that isn't true. Someone better do something fast.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

A Senate Full of Nuts




Are you prepared for the crazies to be in charge of the Congress? You'd better get ready.

As I said before, the fact that Joni Ernst is speaking like an unhinged crazy person will not hurt her one bit with the voters of Iowa. They have checked out. Thirty years ago, she would have been laughed off of the stage, lucky to get 5% of the vote. Now she's well on her way to being Senator Ernst, gun nut and testicle remover.

A statement along the lines of using a gun to defend herself against her own government--that old trope from G. Gordon Liddy where you go for a head shot when ATF agents enter your home--used to mean you weren't leadership material. Now, in Iowa, it means you get to act like Yosemite Sam, only crazier.

If you want to know what's wrong with this country, look at Iowa for a change. It is a highly educated state where the pride and joy of most families is to send their daughter off to a liberal arts college and their son off to receive a Bachelor's Degree in agricultural science (or vice versa, since women have always been our best farmers, by far). It used to be that walking around with a bleary-eyed hankering for guns would be seen as a firm negative and proof that the candidate doesn't have control over their emotions and has no regard for public safety.

There's no need for gun control in a place like Iowa. Everyone there should be free to own guns. The thing that has gone off the rails is this belief that being an irresponsible gun owner is a positive in a leader.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Everything Will Kill You




We are the most panicky people on the face of the Earth. What happened to being resilient or tough? What happened to not giving a shit? What happened to context and actually having useful information?

I don't know about you, but lightning is way worse than Ebola:





If we treated the flu like we have treated Ebola, we'd have lost our mud long ago:

The number of seasonal influenza-associated (i.e., seasonal flu-related) deaths varies from year to year because flu seasons are unpredictable and often fluctuate in length and severity. Therefore, a single estimate cannot be used to summarize influenza-associated deaths. Instead, a range of estimated deaths is a better way to represent the variability and unpredictability of flu. An August 27, 2010 MMWR report entitled “Thompson MG et al. Updated Estimates of Mortality Associated with Seasonal Influenza through the 2006-2007 Influenza Season. MMWR 2010; 59(33): 1057-1062.," provides updated estimates of the range of flu-associated deaths that occurred in the United States during the three decades prior to 2007. CDC estimates that from the 1976-1977 season to the 2006-2007 flu season, flu-associated deaths ranged from a low of about 3,000 to a high of about 49,000 people. Death certificate data and weekly influenza virus surveillance information was used to estimate how many flu-related deaths occurred among people whose underlying cause of death was listed as respiratory or circulatory disease on their death certificate.

And I'm not even going to go into car accidents, cancer, or being near someone with a gun. Good grief. We're the wimpiest of wimps nowadays.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

How Do You Sue Porsche?




How did this end up being a lawsuit?

The court documents filed by Kristine Rodas describe the 2005 Porsche Carrera GT that her husband was driving as a an "ultra-high-performance-super-sports car for the road," that goes from zero to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and has a top speed of 205 miles per hour.


The complaint argues that such a high-powered sports car should have a higher standard of crash protection, and that a mechanical malfunction forced Rodas to veer off the road.
Geragos also hired investigators to evaluate wreckage at the scene, who determined that Rodas was driving 55 mph before the vehicle went out of control. This contradicts the Los Angeles County coroner's report that car was speeding at more than 100 mph, and the investigations by the Los Angeles County Sherriff's Office and California Highway Patrol that focused on speed.


Porsche pointed to the discrepancy.


"As you know, the crash was subject of a very detailed investigation by the authorities, both the California Highway Patrol and the L.A. County Sheriff's Office," said Bernd Harling, Head of Public Relations for Porsche Cars North America. "The reports showed that driving at a high speed in a negligent manner caused the crash. Both concluded that there was no mechanical defect of the vehicle involved."


Bernd Harling must have gotten on the phone to Germany and said the equivalent of "get a load of this..."





Do you know how Mr. Walker and Mr. Rodas could have ended up not being killed? By not getting into a car and driving too fast. I mean, how hard is it to apply some common sense? How is it that there are lawyers even arguing about this--the car was widely known to be a "performance" car. Simply getting into that vehicle is a risk in and of itself.





These two men got into that car and it crashed. Attorney Mark Geragos found someone who said that the car was going 55 miles an hour--which is bullshit but what do you expect from a celebrity attorney who remembers that, in the 1970s, everyone drove 55 for like a minute and then went back to driving faster than that--and now there's a lawsuit.





There is no personal accountability in this case. A tragic accident that was the result of getting into the wrong kind of car and driving in the wrong area at high speeds killed these men. Turning a burned out car inside and out looking for a loose washer and finding "experts" to say whatever they are paid to say isn't going to accomplish anything.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

MH370: Let it Go



There is no easy way to quote the great philosopher of the 21st Century, Queen Elsa of Disney's Frozen, but here goes.

Let it go.

Spending untold millions, and risking the lives of searchers in that inhospitable part of the world, is simply not worth it. To lose one more plane or one more ship and everyone on it would simply compound the tragedy, and that's a very real possibility given how terrible it is to try and operate in the South Indian Ocean.

We have thousands of years of experience with this sort of thing as humans--ships, planes, people, boats, rafts, canoes, caravans--these things vanish. They disappear. They are found again, sometimes, but they do vanish. This is the way of the world.

Accepting that would be healthier than enduring the continued incompetence of the Malaysian authorities and the efforts by the worlds surveillance powers to mask their abilities and let people know what they heard and collected in the wake of the doomed flight.

I mean, honestly. You have to let it go.