Posts Tagged ‘police’

Does this task force make me look angry?

The other day I was talking with a friend that associates with known Officers of the Law about the people that aggrevate police during stops and I mentioned that I make it a rule to never antagonize the police to which he replied “You mean, you make it a rule to never antagonize the police that can arrest you.”

A subtle distinction or a cautious reminder?

Turns out that apparently I piss off the police.

Why? Because I write about police activity, a big no-no which has grown into a taboo. We are supposed to respect, even fear, the police and be happy when, in the event of a criminal wrong doing, they show up and do their job.

You see, it’s gotten to the point where everyone is afraid of the police. The most innocent person gets nervous when trailed and tailgated by a police car, no matter that the driver wasn’t breaking a law. Just the mere presence of Police, aka those that are supposed to protect us, makes most people nervous. I think that isn’t right.

We live in a time when a bad teacher breaks a law and they get a harsher sentence because they “need to be held to a higher standard”, but when a bad cop breaks the law they need to be shown leniency. This effectively equates to the police are held to a lower standard and at a position above the law. You know it. I know it. We all know it.

Yet few, if any, journalists ever take on this miscarriage of justice. Why? Is it because they don’t want to become targets? Wouldn’t that imply that the police target people that aren’t criminals? (Unless you think all journalists are criminals which very well may be.) Why is it that as a society we accept this abuse of power?

Not long ago I asked if our state forfeiture laws should be suspended and a grand total of 8 people voted.

Despite the widely known fact that with current forfeiture laws police can take cash money, not charge the person with any crime, and the individual still won’t be able to get the money back in court.

Well today another bigger and badder report was released by the state ,Report: Strike Force rife with misconduct, letting us know once again that justice is not being served. The report revealed large scale property seizures that were either kept for personal use by law enforcement or held and sold cheaply to their friends and family.

The report concludes,

Something went terribly wrong at the Metro Gang Strike Force, and it should not be allowed to happen gain,” the report said. It recommended that there be no stand-alone Strike Force units that are untethered from a law enforcement agency, and the report urged the Legislature to consider revamping the state’s seizure and forfeiture laws.

I have questions and so should you.
Why is it that when I am outraged by this sort of activity and call for it’s end it’s because I don’t like the police?

So then what’s it called when the state investigation comes to the same conclusion?

Let’s be clear, I don’t hate the Police or cops. I realize that for the most part they babysit the scum of the earth. It’s a tough job, but it’s not like when filled out their application they promised to do the work for free and somehow forgot to check the “Dancing With Stars” option.

Also, let’s get right to it not pretend this sort of stuff isn’t rampant and isolated to one small group or a couple of rogue cops. If that were the case grandmas wouldn’t be afraid when trailed by police and soccer moms wouldn’t be getting tased. Everyone has a story

As long as there are events like this Task Force debacle and wrongly raided houses leading to medals of valor, I just can’t see much justice in our Justice System.

The featured commenter at the Strib complains,

Why aren’t these cops being prosecuted?
They are stealing – “not mis-appropriating”!!!! I hate the double-talk – call a thief a thief!

I guess the answer may very well be because the stealing in question was done by a bad cop, and not an ordinary citizen or someone held to a “higher standard”, like a teacher.

You know polls don’t mean much in reality, but it’s interesting that my recent poll about Brett Favre got three times more votes than the forfeiture poll which involved citizens of the country having their Constitutional Rights violated and their property stolen by those that are supposed to Serve and Protect.

You can chew me out in the comments, if you’d like, but save your typical arguements of “If you ever have a burglar, don’t ever call the police then . . .”

Those arguements are B.S.

Speaking of B.S. I can’t help but wonder why the Feds don’t investigate every judge that signs a search warrant, every confidential informant that gives secret testimony, and prosecute lies and collusion using the same RICO laws they use to fight organized crime. Recent events seem to reinforce the old joke about the most armed dangerous gang on the streets being the police.

And I’m supposed to be worried about pissing off cops for not liking their abuses of the law with the citizens they are supposed to protect?

That’s funny, because all I feel is disgust.

Someone let me know when it’s safe to go back in the water.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYwzW2QFnwo[/youtube]
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Here’s the full report H/T

Athens vs. St. Paul

After watching footage of the riots in Athens, I was left flabbergasted. The riot police walked right past the CNN news crew. They were firing flash bang grenades, spraying mace, and arresting rioters, but they didn’t touch the reporters, or hardly even acknowledge their existence. If this was in St. Paul, those journalists would have been arrested, held in custody for days, and never have their recording equipment released back to them. I suppose the unrest in Greece is nothing compared to our legendary Minnesota Nice.

Roundup

Three Lessons from the Twin Cities’ Response to the RNC Unrest

Watching the last few days of unrest in the Twin Cities surrounding the Republican National Convention unfold, a few things have made themselves evident to me in a way that I’d heard of and thought a little about but never personally witnessed before.

  1. Law enforcement may be hurting more than they are helping.
  2. Our local independent media’s coverage has been a good complement to the traditional media’s coverage.
  3. Volunteer opportunities abound.

(more…)

Back home again

I made it back to the liberal stronghold that is Minneapolis, although it took me longer than normal. Definitely longer than it took me to get to St. Paul this morning. Granted, when I boarded the 94 eastbound bus, it was during rush hour, and coming home, I stopped at Innuendo for Happy Hour first. The 7:46 schedule 94 bus never came, so I caught the 16 instead, at 8pm. It got me to Minneapolis at about 8:45. I probably should’ve waited for the 94 at 8:16, but I figured I’d still get home around the same time.

My overall impression of the day, though, was…meh. In a phrase that would’ve made Yogi Berra happy, “if you didn’t know it was happening, you wouldn’t know it was happening.” Now, that’s not to say that there weren’t events, that there weren’t rallies, that there wasn’t stuff that was newsworthy. What I mean is, if you didn’t live in the restricted area, if you didn’t work near the zone, all you would see is a lot of people, and a lot of cops. In other words, it would look like you were living or working in a city. Now, for St. Paul, that’s a bit of a change. In fact, I’d say that St. Paul seemed a lot more like Minneapolis today, in terms of general activity.

There was lots of conversation. As you walked through the skyway, or rode the bus, you’d hear people say things like, “Did you see that guy with the bullhorn?” or “Man, there were loads of cops in riot gear at the park!” But unless you went looking for it, or by misfortune, lived or worked in the specific areas, it didn’t really affect you.

And there were lots of cops, both in St. Paul and in Minneapolis. At every street corner, there is a police presence. I don’t know that I necessarily felt safer. I mean, no one is going to mug me with a cop right there, but if someone did mug me, I don’t know that the cop would’ve done anything. If I had a placard denouncing the government, I think the cops would’ve done something. Not necessarily violently, but there would’ve been a reaction. I just didn’t feel like they were there to police “normal crime”. You could probably blow a stoplight without too much worry of getting a ticket, unless your car was decorated to protest something.

RNC Roundup: Labor Day

Today’s protest activity almost makes the weekend’s raids look tame.

Before the info, my opinions.

Somewhere approaching 10,000 people showed up in Saint Paul today to say with their signs, their voices, and their presence that they disagreed with something our government is doing. They got their message out with causing any harm to anyone or anything.

A few hundred dillweeds showed up, threw bricks through windows and dumped garbage bins into the street, and generally caused a ruckus for the sake of causing a ruckus, essentially fucking it up for everyone. I’m not against protesting or demonstrating. I am against being a jackass.

And, you know, if you really mean it, show your face instead of hiding behind a bandana. If you have a message that you stand by, attaching your real identity to it gives it more meaning.

At the same time, the presence of various local and federal law enforcement agencies in full riot gear somewhat escalates the situation. If you’re gonna go full out like that, you’re going to spur people on. If you’re ensconced inside your protective bubble, it encourages people to try to break it.

On to the roundup.

Chuck Olsen doing his thing.


Originally uploaded by diversey.

(Okay, I know that’s not actually news, or at least it’s the most meta take on the story, but look at him! Work it, Chuck.)

My #2 favorite: Corinne McDermid is one of The Uptake’s CJs who has been broadcasting from downtown Saint Paul all day. This is video she took while detained by police in a massive roundup of protestors.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCST-5IXzDA[/youtube]

@MnIndyLIVE brings you the Quote of the Day:

Overheard from excited Mpls policeman, “So I shot him with impact round a he just fucking dropped!”

Brian Moen has a great photoset of the peaceful protest action.

Terrific photos of the RNC Mania also from wRen, including the following.


Originally uploaded by waiting line.


Originally uploaded by waiting line.

Photos and commentary from Messiah Complex from his vantage point at the Ordway.

And finally many RNC-related dispatches from MnIndy throughout the day and a pretty good roundup of the action and the major conflicts at the Pioneer Press (where bugmenot.com is your friend).

As the PiPress tweets, “Protest tally: 256 total; 119 felonies; 48 gross misdemeanors; 89 misdemeanors. Per Ramsey County Sheriff’s Department.”

Oh yeah, and the RNC did actually start and Hurricane Gustav did actually hit the ground. Most of the country was watching hurricane coverage or the US Open.

Take this job and shove it?

It appears that money is becoming a hot topic in keeping the Saint Paul Police in town. The police union is even mockingly threatening a mass exodus of cops to other towns.

This from TwinCities.com

Will St. Paul be suffering an exodus of police officers to the suburbs, where they can get paid more?  That’s the specter presented by the police union in a radio ad being released today.  “It’s a short drive to Eden Prairie and Edina’s next door,” the ad begins with a man singing. “Cops from St. Paul can move to either and make thousands more.”

The sticking point for the union, which represents nearly 700 people, has been salary. The city has offered an annual 3.25 percent pay increase for 2008, 2009 and 2010, which is what the city’s other bargaining units accepted, city officials have said. The union is seeking an extra 2.37 percent boost in the final six months of the contract

The cities suggested raises translates to the following,

“The city’s proposal would have St. Paul officers with five years of experience making $66,866, compared with $79,064 for Eden Prairie and $70,459 for Edina, Shannon said. “

 I think the Saint Paul police do a great job, but it seems to me that almost 70k before overtime is a pretty nice salary. Is it fair for the police union to demand more money when everyone else is getting paltry raise or,as is often the case these days in the private sector, no raise at all?

What do you think?

Roundup

live.eat.play.twin cities: DIY St Paul walking tours

Minnescoota, for the Minnesota scooter enthusiast.

Minneapolis Issues Forum: Dyna Slyter, who part-times in Starbuck, MN, asks folks to give her one reason to come back to Minneapolis. The response is a resounding, “Pffffffft, whatever.”

MPLS Mirror: Recapping a presentation on the five problems the MPD faces in preventing crime and keeping neighborhoods safe and how they’re trying to address them.

Minnov8: On bringing broadband to every Minnesotan, completely with analogy to railroads.

Gather: Michael Caputo likes the 5-day skyway leases being granted for the RNC, because it’s better than the current state of Saint Paul skyway suckitude quiet.

TC Daily Planet: Another South High/MTN project, this time on bicycle culture.

Standoff in my neighbourhood

Nothing like waking up and heading to work to see police cars blocking off both ends of my block. Not much information is available, but there was a burglary last night, and this morning, the suspect took hostages in a townhouse near 25th and 3rd, and the Minneapolis Institute of the Arts. WCCO reports that the hostages have been released, but the suspect is still armed and holed up. The SWAT team is on site, but hasn’t moved on the suspect yet.

I left to come to work at about 9:30 this morning, pulled the scooter out and turned north, saw the squad car blocking off that end, turned around and saw three cars blocking off that end. What to do, what to do. I went north, and the police let me exit the area, but they weren’t letting anyone back in. I normally have my clock radio tuned to Jazz88, which has news regularly throughout the morning, but today I had it turned off. I wonder how quickly I would’ve woken up this morning hearing on the news that there was a SWAT team facing down a hostage less than a block away from my apartment. How long would it have taken my waking brain to process that information and would I have decided to just stay inside than to venture out on the scooter?

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