We need a law establishing a uniform reporting requirement for police killings

November 14, 2014

Friday, November 14, 2914

Good morning:

We need a law that establishes a mandatory uniform classification and reporting requirement for all police killings.

They have increased each of the past three years. The FBI’s Uniform Crime Report for 2013 listed 461 justifiable killings of felony suspects by police. That is the highest number of killings in the past 20 years.

Inspired in part by the Michael Brown killing, USA Today reviewed the FBI’s database of justifiable killings for the past seven years involving a white cop killing a black suspect. They found an average of 96 killings per year.

Whether those killings were truly justifiable or falsely deemed to have been justifiable due to racist thinking and/or to cover-up a murder is impossible to determine due to incomplete record keeping. For example, I was shocked to discover that no law requires the creation and maintenance of a national database of police killings and no law requires police agencies to report killings according to a uniform procedure. Instead, the FBI relies on agencies to voluntarily report their self-described ‘justifiable’ killings.

This situation is intolerable and must be fixed. Congress is going to have to pass a law establishing a uniform classification and reporting system.

We also need a law that establishes independent civilian review boards to investigate and transparently review police killings because police investigating fellow officers is an inherent conflict of interest that cannot reasonably be expected to produce a just result.

Unfortunately, I cannot imagine an evidence averse Republican Congress passing such a law even though it’s desperately needed.

Yet another young black man killed by a cop in St.Louis

October 9, 2014

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Good morning:

More trouble in St.Louis last night.

An off-duty police officer shot and killed an 18-year-old black male in St.Louis last night. According to the police chief, the young man fired 3 shots at the officer during a chase. The officer returned fire squeezing off 17 shots.

A gun was recovered at the scene and a ballistics investigation confirmed that it had been fired three times.

The young man’s family is claiming he was not armed, raising the possibility that the officer might have used a throw-down weapon.*

The shooting is under investigation.

Hopefully, the victim’s hands were bagged at the scene and the ME will check for the presence of gunshot residue on them before washing the body prior to the autopsy.

The gun should be checked for prints.

*Many cops carry difficult-to-trace firearms acquired under questionable circumstances for the sole purpose of throwing them down on people they arrest or kill.

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The cops who killed Eric Garner must be prosecuted and sentenced to prison

July 19, 2014

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Good afternoon:

The police officers who placed Eric Garner, 43, in a choke hold and asphyxiated him by sitting on him and ignoring his complaints that he could not breathe should be prosecuted and sentenced to prison for killing him.

They are thugs in uniform.

Violent criminals wearing badges.

NYPD regulations forbid the use of choke holds.

I have written about the dangers of positional asphyxiation.

Choke holds have been banned by most emergency services because they can cause death two ways:

(1) Obstructing the airway and/or

(2) Carotid artery compression cutting off blood to the brain.

Given the emphasis on educating first responders regarding the dangers of positional asphyxiation and the ban on using choke holds, no police officer can credibly claim today that they did not know they were endangering Garner’s life when they placed him in a choke hold and sat on him ignoring his protests that he could not breathe.

If they did not intentionally kill him, they certainly acted with reckless disregard for his life, which is manslaughter.

He was unarmed, peaceful and none of the officers were in any physical danger. They did not have to arrest him. If they were so hot and bothered about him selling untaxed cigarettes, they could have issued him a citation.

But, no. They just had to show him how tough they were, so they killed him.

Not one of them even attempted to resuscitate him.

Unless police departments are looking forward to a future where armed civilians gun them down at will in the streets, every one of them needs to go to prison.

This is our 1143rd post.

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