Wednesday, April 8, 2015

mandatory minimums

On the current South Carolina story -- Reader Comments on a news site:


-- from Charlotte, North Carolina,

Amazing to me that this is the second video where I saw a dead man hand cuffed and screamed at. Are these officers on some type of drugs


-- from Concord, North Carolina,

There will come the day when the police will shoot and kill the person taking a video of a "police incident".


-- from San Diego,

Why did Officer Slager shoot Mr. Scott? The causal nature of this act is what is so upsetting. If Mr. Scott had the taser, which he didn't, would that change why Officer Slager shot Mr. Scott?


It would seem that Officer Slager shot Mr Scott simply because he could.


Why did he shoot this fleeing man? Because he could. Because the fact is that cops can shoot people and get away with it in America.



-- from A Reader,

There needs to be mandatory minimum sentences for police officers convicted of violence. We need to hold our men and women in uniform to a higher standard than we hold the public, not a lower one.


-- from Voiceofamerica,


In a way, I don't think the murder is the most damning thing.


It's the instinctual complicity of the other officers in the effort to cover up the crime.


This is what makes claims of a lone bad apple impossible to take seriously.


This is systemic.


I don't know what can be done.


The police unions have power.


They treat the Mayor of NYC as their personal vassal. They answer to no one at this point.


They're a mob.



-- from Corvallis, Oregon,

What kind of person would shoot another six times, then demand "hands behind your back" for cuffing, and then walk away without applying first aid?



-- from Liverpool, UK

This is murder. No justification. No reasonable doubt.

This Police Officer executed an overweight, scared and nonthreatening man for a traffic stop, by shooting him in the back.


I really want to hear why he had to shoot this man.
The second Police Officer arrives and witnesses the plant of the taser and then


does nothing.


They don't even check the man can
breathe. What happened to immediately applying pressure to the wounds?
This is a TRAFFIC STOP???




-- from Asheville, North Carolina

In North Carolina we have had instances of highly publicized prosecutorial misconduct resulting in unjust convictions, and scandals over sloppy lab work done by our State Bureau of Investigation accompanied by exaggerated claims about the reliability of evidence, which also resulted in unjust convictions.


The Innocence Project


has been working to rectify wrongful convictions, but it's a slow process and usually follows many years after a conviction/sentence. Add the allegations against law enforcement as illustrated by this horrendous incident and


we have an entire justice system in desperate need of overhaul.


Where to begin?
I'm a lawyer and know that there are many, many good people in the justice system; some of the best persons I know, in fact.


The problem seems to be a subculture


that promotes a wrong, misplaced notion of loyalty over doing what is right, and protects wrongdoers who promote

winning over justice


and the

irresponsible, even evil,


exercise of power over the weak and defenseless. It's a culture that needs to be focused on and changed.



-- from New York City,

Every time I see this stuff - I grimace - then think hard about American denial and delusion. 


 It's not the cops - it's our society.


Racism is everywhere - inequality is everywhere - sexism is everywhere. To think that somehow police officers are somehow not affected by our culture and "above the fray"- is to live in fantasy land. Americans love their fantasy land - at the expense of our citizenry.

Change the culture - the cops will follow.


 -- Long Island, New York

I want to express my deep gratitude to the person who was using the video camera and obviously risked their lives so America could see the truth. You are a true hero to me. Thank you, be brave and careful.





What I notice here is:

"It's not the cops - it's our society."

"Change the culture - the cops will follow."

------------------ And there were many other Reader Comments not re-printed here taking the same line of thought:  it's our whole society, our culture...


When I was in 7th grade, when Richard Nixon was President, the argument used to be made on crime:  "it's society; society creates these folks who have no hope and so turn to a life of crime" -- now it's the same argument being made for policemen..."It's our society.  Change the culture."...


Just as every cop is a criminal

And all the sinners, saints...

Pleased to meet you --

Hope you guessed my name...*



{*song excerpt, "Sympathy for the Devil" - the Rolling Stones}



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