Friday, July 8, 2016

Blue Lives Matter is Still Bullshit

Dallas notwithstanding, targeting law enforcement is already a crime with enhanced penalties, and the danger is part of the job.  

Cutting down innocent citizens should not be.

After Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, but before Philando Castile in Minnesota and before five cops in Dallas, there was this, from Charlie Pierce, about Blue Lives Matter:

Edwards signed the bill even though, as Jarvis DeBerry of The Times-Picayune pointed out, Edwards' record provided him with sufficient political cover to veto the law had he decided to do so.
But in addition to being generally concerned about hate-crime statutes, I am particularly distressed by a bill that adds police officers to the list of people who can be considered the victims of hate crimes. The primary reason is that police officers are already protected. There are already higher penalties for people who attack and or kill police officers, and it's doubtful that there's anybody around who's unaware that those higher penalties exist. But there's also another reason this bill is a noxious idea. Hate crime bills were put in to place to grant some protections to populations that have historically been powerless. Police officers are representatives of power. We call them "the law." How does it come to be that the very embodiments of the state's power are cast as weak, oppressed and in further need of the state's protection? House Bill 953 is propaganda, pure and simple, furthering the lie that police officers' lives have recently become more imperiled.
And after Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, and after Philando Castile in Minnesota, but before the five cops in Dallas, there was this, from a Louisiana police officer:
“How dare you stand next to me in the same uniform and murder somebody! How dare you! You ought to be ashamed of yourself! So, why don’t we just keep it real? If you’re that officer that knows good and well you’ve got a God complex, you’re afraid of people that don’t look like you, you have no business in that uniform! Take it off! If you’re afraid to go and talk to an African American female or a male, or a Mexican male or female because they’re not white like you, take the uniform off! You have no business being a police officer, because there’s many of us that would give our life for anybody! We took this oath and we meant it! If you are that officer that’s prejudice, take the uniform off and put the KKK hoodie on because I will not stand for that!”
And today, the total number of police officers killed in the line of duty this year stands at 58. A little more than 10 percent of the number of people killed by police officers in the same time.

In the first half of 2016, police have killed 532 people — many of whom were unarmed, mentally ill, and people of color.

This number comes from The Guardian’s police killings database, but the Killed by Police database counts 580 people who have died at the hands of police so far this year. The Washington Post also reports that 488 people have been shot and killed by cops.

Going by the Guardian’s count, 261 white people were killed by police — the highest total out of any racial group. But data also shows that black people and Native Americans are being killed at higher rates than any other group.

February and March were the deadliest months this year, with 99 people killed by police in each month. In June, the police killed 86 people, all of whom were fatally shot.
 Blue Lives Matter Is Bullshit.

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