Sunday, July 15, 2018

Colorblind Police Violence

Black Lives Matter: relax.  President Trump: celebrate.

The introductory page of the website of Black Lives Matter reads

The Black Lives Matter Global Network is a chapter-based, member-led organization whose mission is to build local power and to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes....

We affirm the lives of Black queer and trans folks, disabled folks, undocumented folks, folks with records, women, and all Black lives along the gender spectrum. Our network centers those who have been marginalized within Black liberation movements.

We are working for a world where Black lives are no longer systematically targeted for demise.

It's a call to end discrimination, and police violence against, blacks. All others take a number. It's very simple.

So, too, was President Trump when on July 28, 2017 he recommended police brutality to a group of law enforcement officers in Suffolk County, Long Island, NY:

Like when you guys put somebody in the car and you’re protecting their head, you know, the way you put their hand over? Like, don’t hit their head and they’ve just killed somebody—don’t hit their head. I said, you can take the hand away, O.K.?

Trump excels in pandering to a crowd or an individual, but in July 2016 he similarly had tweeted "shooting deaths of police officers up 78% this year. We must restore law and order and protect our great law enforcement officers."

Donald Trump and Black Lives Matter agree on one thing: if brutality is directed against someone not black, it's of little concern (and in Trump's view, unimportant no matter the victim's race). (For an unscientific, possibly staged yet somewhat humorous experiment, see video below.) So you may not have heard

State police went grossly overboard in their pursuit of a marijuana suspect whose body was found under a bulldozer that authorities used to search for him in thick brush, a pot advocacy group said Thursday.

Officials with the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws blasted state police for calling in a helicopter and commandeering a Pennsylvania Game Commission bulldozer as they tracked Gregory Longenecker, 51, who'd fled law enforcement on state game lands about 10 miles from his hometown of Reading.

Police said they found 10 marijuana plants at the scene.

"We simply cannot understand how a man is dead over an investigation involving 10 cannabis plants," said Patrick Nightingale, executive director of NORML's Pittsburgh chapter and a former Allegheny County prosecutor. "The whole investigation was ridiculous. I've seen law enforcement take down major heroin traffickers that haven't engaged in this level of aggression."

A man can be killed over an investigation involving 10 cannabis plants because it is now three days later and there has been relatively little coverage by the media. 

We know law enforcement thus far is not covering the matter up because

A state police internal investigation is underway. The unidentified trooper who rode the bulldozer has been placed on administrative duty pending the outcome, said a state police spokesman, Cpl. Adam Reed, who declined further comment.

The chase developed Monday morning after a game commission worker who had been clearing brush spotted a parked car he thought looked suspicious and called local police, who, in turn, contacted state police.

One suspect was arrested by the Bernville police chief, but Longenecker eluded capture.

A state police helicopter spotted him in the underbrush, and the game commission worker, with a trooper aboard, used the bulldozer to blaze a trail in pursuit. The chopper lost sight of him, and the trooper told the worker to stop the machine, according to a state police account. That's when they spotted his body.

This is no minor issue. There is racial bias in law enforcement, about which our President is completely unconcerned and Black Lives Matter is obsessed. There also is overzealous policing which- separated from race- garners little concern.

The executive director of the Lehigh Valley chapter of NORML maintained

"I doubt they were even planning to sell this on the street. If you're a consumer of marijuana, 10 plants is nothing. Ten plants isn't even going to get you through the year." It is, however, enough to get you killed and earn the silence of Black Lives Matter and of the President of the United States of America.

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