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View Diary: It's just a toy (116 comments)

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  •  That story needs a diary, please nt (4+ / 0-)

    "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

    by LilithGardener on Sat Oct 26, 2013 at 01:17:41 PM PDT

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    •  I don't know if it's a good moment (4+ / 0-)

      to whistleblow. It's all going to come out, supposedly, within a week or so. But here I am, basically whistle-blowing.

      There are certainly threats being made against the officer's life. The community is not taking this well. I believe that's why the FBI has taken over. When the police killed Jeremiah Chass, I think that the community outrage was oddly more tempered since there were no witnesses other than his family, and also, since Chass was a little older (at the grand old age of sixteen). In this case, the child is barely even a teenager, and there were plenty of eyewitnesses, and the family immediately made some sort of appeal to the Mexican consulate, which suggests to me that Andy may have potentially been a Mexican citizen? That, I'm not clear on. But I do know that the Mexican consulate immediately hired a lawyer for the family, and that the whole thing has been very traumatic for the area.

      I am not sure what I could say in a diary, however, that wouldn't basically be hearsay? And what to do? I could talk about the history of law enforcement abuse in the area, which has been documented by the California Commission on civil rights as well as the DOJ in the past decade-ish. NAMI and the ACLU have also noted widespread problems. It is believed that the problems in area stem from the issue that this area is what is considered an immigrant "hub" and one of the largest in California, mainly comprised of migrants from Michoacan and Jalisco, by and large. In this way, it can be thought of a lot like Maricopa County, Arizona under Sheriff Arpaio. Previous community efforts to make inroads with area law enforcement have been widespread but ineffective.

      In terms of guns, the police here were ENCOURAGING children to touch and play with them just a few years (a must-read article):

      Anyone who thinks that this is somehow strange should just take a look at that article, and the photo in there, and read more about...

      Santa Rosa Mayor Ernesto Olivares supports the decision by police to allow young children to handle fully automatic weapons during a recent community outreach event in the South Park neighborhood.

      The retired Santa Rosa police lieutenant said he helped organize the first such event three years ago and said it was “unfortunate” that critics have characterized the SWAT team display as inappropriate.

      “They’re way off base,” Olivares said of those who suggested allowing children to handle police weapons might foster a dangerous fascination with guns.

      So if you aren't from this area, this is the tone that the POLICE are setting. Right? But then they're flipping around claiming to be afraid of these guns? They're encouraging little kids to take up arms right there, and by the way, that then continued throughout the County, not just in Santa Rosa. Oh, and do you see an orange tip on that gun? I don't. It's real, so I guess that's why. Just saying that police here are fully paramilitarized, so this is the height of hypocrisy.

      Here's another article about that:

      Police Chief Tom Schwedhelm said the event gave officers a chance to make “nontraditional connections with the community.” The goal of the SWAT display was to show people that “these are some of the tools the police use to make this community safe,” he said.

      But Julie Combs said she felt the police had “confused community policing with irresponsible gun handling.” She noted that the parents of the children involved were never asked for their consent, and that little gun safety education took place at the event.

      Hm. What's that about the officer fearing for his life? Yeah. Not buying it. The guy is unstable and has an itchy trigger finger, and he's killed a little kid because of it. Why didn't his partner pull the trigger even once? He wasn't intimidated, obviously. That's why. And there were under ten seconds from the time that the order was given to turn around to the time that Andy Lopez, age 13, had eight bullets torn through his young, small body for the "crime" of carrying a fake gun in a non-threatening manner in the middle of the day in an area where the police, themselves, encourage gun use.

      I would encourage anyone who is in the California Bay Area to please come and march on Tuesday and Wednesday at noon.

      Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

      by mahakali overdrive on Sat Oct 26, 2013 at 03:34:19 PM PDT

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      •  "Somewhat strange" is an understatement. (4+ / 0-)
        Anyone who thinks that this is somehow strange should just take a look at that article, and the photo in there, and read more about...
        •  Precisely (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          coquiero, tytalus, Glen The Plumber

          Law enforcement is engaged in a very silly game here. I realize people may not be aware of regional differences in gun culture attitudes, and that's from living around the country myself, but here, it is crystal clear that the law enforcement where Andy Lopez was shot have ENCOURAGED children to familiarize themselves with guns; to wit, this photo was taken perhaps one mile from where he was slain. Moreover, while I don't know if further articles appeared, law enforcement repeated this throughout the county without much to-do.

          A twenty-four year veteran cop in the area would be quite well-apprised of local gun use. The abandoned fields where these kids play are filled with cows and chickens. While Andy had walked past a dozen or more people on his route, none of them thought much of his toy gun, and one even told him to be careful to avoid being harassed by police for carrying it. But no one felt threatened. So for an officer to claim that is literally farcical. Whether or not it's the officer that I think it is, at that, since his sidekick deputy didn't ever lift his own weapon either. On top of which, even if Andy had been a 24-year old man on a murderous rampage, there is still no reason to shoot an already-dead corpse.

          So the whole thing is vile. I'm glad, and yet also sorry, that the children are leading this revolution and are not backing down here.

          Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

          by mahakali overdrive on Sat Oct 26, 2013 at 05:17:47 PM PDT

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