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Sunday, July 19, 2015

IF I DIE IN POLICE CUSTODY...



SPEND 10X AS MUCH TIME ON A NATIONWIDE CHANGE TO OUR CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM AS YOU DO ON MY INDIVIDUAL DEATH...ESPECIALLY IF I GET NATIONAL NEWS COVERAGE


According the video link below and police led rumors on the  contents of the dash cam video, deficiencies have been observed in the handling of Sandra Bland. "Deficiencies" What a word to use? She's dead.

Clearly, police departments in this country need some sort of national oversight. Every citizen in this country needs to be able to see what they are doing to whom and make them answer for it. And we need to be able to see the patterns of abuse.

Driving While Black, for example, has a perfectly predictable pattern.  The black person is stopped for a traffic violation that is almost nothing. The white police officer assumes correctly that he or she can manhandle a black person for kicks or for having the audacity to back talk one of  massa's descendants or worse one of massa- wannabe- descendants.


ON "RESISTING ARREST," "ASSAULTING A POLICE OFFICER,"  AND KEEPING ONE'S HANDS TO ONE'S SELF
Police, not even the ones in Texas, should not be able to arrest people for "back talk" then call it "resisting arrest"  and "assaulting a police officer" when the person reacts with horror and shock.  

Eric Casebolt tried this with Dejerrica Becton (McKinney Pool Party) and the two teenagers who ran up to help her. This is something Casebolt would have been 100% successful in getting away with if he hadn't pulled his gun on a cell phone video. ( If Casebolt's not working at a new police department this year, I'll bet he will be within two or three years.)

It seems obvious to me that if a cop doesn't produce a solid charge that precedes "resisting arrest," he or she is abusing his authority to harass a citizen.  And if the charge that precedes "resisting arrest" is going to be "assaulting of a police officer" then the police officer should have to prove the citizen assaulted him or her ---BEFORE the citizen was touched in any way.

This might not be easy in all situations, but it is perfectly do-able in the traffic stop situation. Tell the person they are going to be arrested and step out of the car. If they hit the officer in the process, that's "assault of a police officer"

When you yank someone around and they struggle just before you say "you're under arrest," the part before the words? That's called "resisting assault" even if you're wearing a uniform.

And when I say a police officer needs proof of "assaulting an officer," I mean body camera or dash cam proof. Any cell phone video the police want, they should request a copy of it from an independent body like the ACLU. They can watch and/or help the citizen send the video to the ACLU.  There's an app for that.

And if the person originally stopped for something as minor as jaywalking or a turning signal violation does not have a record that includes violence or a documented history of mental illness that includes violence, there should be an investigation by some organization that lies outside the state.  That is, common sense says that anybody arrested for assault and resisting arrest should have a charge worthy of assault and resisting arrest for.

Sandra Bland's lane change without a signal wouldn't be one of those charges.

Contrary to how we're being treated, black skin is not synonymous with violent insanity.  That was the unofficial verdict in Mike Brown's case, right?  He just went crazy during a jay walking stop and punched Darren Wilson for no reason.  This is the unofficial verdict that's being pushed in Sandra Bland's case as well.   One of the reasons this bill of goods is able to be sold over and over again is because we don't have a national agency to govern our police departments.

A national agency would be able to have a mission statement (?) that makes it clear that the person with the most responsibility for what goes wrong in these minor law violations will always be assumed to be the person with all the authority, the police officer.  As a result of this mental shift, when there is a disparity between the law violated (turning signal) and resulting behavior (assault an officer and resisting arrest) there should be a requirement that a report be to be filed.

And while a preliminary paper investigation based on such a report took place, that officer should have to give up all his weapons (service and home weapons) and be put on desk duty until the paper investigation comes to a conclusion or is escalated.

When the investigation takes more than two weeks, the officer should be put on leave without pay.

If an officer is investigated two or three times for minor violations that turn into a unjustifiable knee on the neck arrests or bullets fired, there should be loss of job, some sort of suspended sentence charge that results in the permanent loss of  his or second amendment rights.

If there are immediate consequences for a ridiculous escalation of violence and the officers knows they bear the burden of proof within this new systems, then police officers will be the ones that want the body cameras and dash cams to be a nationwide requirement.

These are the non-racial steps we need to take to ensure that the person with the most authority is the most at fault for situations that escalate from turning signal violation to "resisting arrest"   We can make it a given that there will be immediate consequences for stupidity and escalating violence while you are doing a job that requires you carry a gun.


If we already had this in place...

Driving While Black Assaults wouldn't be nonexistent. But they would be greatly reduced.

Mike Brown might still be here if Darren Wilson had known there would be consequences.

Sandra Bland might still be here, too.

Skip Gates would likely still be led out of his own home in handcuffs, but the officer abusing his authority would know he had one strike against him and two left to go before he lost his job.

We need to make a national organization happen. We need disparities between the initial non-violent law broken and a violent arrest to result in immediate consequences for police officers.



IN THE MEANTIME:




1) I want to know what "deficiencies" can be seen on the dash cam.

2) I want to know what the witnesses saw before the cell phone video.


3) Sandra's body was on the ground well off to the side of her vehicle. Is the dash cam wide enough to catch all of the incident? Does the cell phone video pick up where the dash cam leaves off?

4) I want Loretta Lynch to send someone not from Texas to examine the dash cam video.

5) I want Loretta Lynch to send someone not from Texas to examine the hallway video.

6) I want Loretta Lynch to send someone not from Texas to do or re-do her autopsy.

7) I want to know how badly Sandra's head was damaged when her head was slammed into the ground. She said she couldn't hear.

8) I want to know that a doctor examined Sandra's injuries upon arrival at the jail.

9) I want to know what time Sandra died and/or how big a window of time she could have died in

10) I want to know to know the name of the person who was last in the cell with her.

11) I want to know if a police officer left the range of the camera to go inside her cell and what time that happened and why.

12) I want to know if the head injury could have caused her death. (What if the trash bag was tied around her neck for effect - in the cell or in the morgue?)

13) I want to know if Sandra knew that she still had job after

        a) she didn't show up for work
        b) told them she'd been arrested for a violent crime


Any way I turn this, Texas police officers took her life. The only question for me is method.

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/sheriff-says-problems-jail-played-no-role-death-sandy-bland-n394461