Matt Taibbi writes another article that documents how the criminal justice system is tilted against the less fortunate. I will continue to recommend his book The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap.
The details emerging from the Justice Department’s investigation into Ferguson are pretty ugly. There is definitely racism is our criminal justice system and this is just the latest example. If you don’t think there is, you are probably white, and you probably haven’t read enough. Again, I think one of the best one stop shop reads you can have on this subject for modern times is Matt Taibbi’s The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap. But if you are somehow new to all of this just read the details in the above article, it won’t take very long. A few samples:
- Ferguson’s black drivers were more than twice as likely as their white counterparts to be stopped and searched, according to records over two years. Black drivers were also 26 percent less likely to be found in possession of contraband.
- According to the police department’s internal records concerning force, 88 percent of those cases involved force against blacks. All 14 canine bite incidents involved blacks.
- Blacks were 68 percent less likely than others to have their cases dismissed in municipal court. An arrest warrant was more likely to be issued for blacks.
Reality is stranger than fiction. The state of Alabama is now appointing attorneys for the unborn. The Daily Show does a great job showing how absurd this is. When she pulls out the final doll at the end I finally lost my shit…
I’ve put up some posts recently about the problems going on in NYC between the Police Union and civilian leadership, as I think this issue, in light of many other things in the news concerning our justice system, is part of a larger conversation. Above are some reactions that Andrew Sullivan has gathered at his blog The Dish, one of the best blogs around. A sample from Damon Linker:
It is absolutely essential, in New York City but also in communities around the country, that citizens and public officials make it at all times unambiguously clear that the police work for us. … When police officers engage in acts of insubordination against civilian leadership, they should expect to be punished. Just like insubordinate soldiers. The principle of civilian control of the military and police depends on it.
It also depends on cops who kill unarmed citizens being tried in a court of law. And on cops respecting the right of citizens to protest anything they wish, including the failure of the judicial system to hold police officers accountable for their use of deadly force in ambiguous situations. All of this should be a no-brainer. That it apparently isn’t for many police officers and their apologists in the media is a troubling sign of decay in our civic institutions.
Police officers have again proved that they don’t get it. One can think that the justice system is out of control, that too many young black males have lost their lives or have been sent to prison, AND that cops shouldn’t be killed. However, they are turning their backs on people that are peacefully criticizing what some of their officers do. Instead of realizing that there might be a problem, starting an open dialog, some of these officers are blaming people that are reacting peacefully when officers have overstepped their bounds, and blaming those people for violence. It is some of the police, and definitely the police killer, that have violence problems.
A police force’s only reason for existing is to protect and serve the community. This means protecting free speech and the right to assembly as well. They should recognize that as long as protestors don’t get violent, they are exercising their rights as American citizens.
Anyone with two eyes can tell you that are justice system is completely flawed. Although we only have 5% of the world’s population, we have 25% of the world’s prison population. Unfortunately, even the many police officers that are good people, are part of a bad system.
Instead of trying to protect the community, joining with the protestors to request a more fair justice system, that doesn’t put them at odds with their community, they are closing ranks. They are learning nothing. I once read that a comedy is when a hero goes to the innermost cave and learns nothing. If there wasn’t so much sadness surrounding this issue, this would indeed be an absurd comedy of the highest order.
I found this article through my friend Kevin Russell. After reading this article you will feel so ill you will need to smoke some weed. Remember this is not just a drug issue or an issue of personal freedom, this is a social justice issue as so many lives are ruined by our insane laws regarding this drug.
The above link is to a Huffington Post article about how our policed forces are becoming more militarized. In fact the article says that a lot of the weapons from our recent wars are making their way home. The militarization of our police has been going on for awhile now, so this article doesn’t surprise me. If you read Matt Taibbi’s eye opening The Divide, about the injustice of our justice system, you will see how our society is slowly becoming a dystopia. It starts at the law enforcement level and goes the whole way up the chain. That’s not to say there aren’t still good people at every level, just that the system itself is flawed.