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Another Black Man Gunned Down

Look, this is a problem in our society. For some reason (and we can argue the reason), black men are getting killed by police. I’m a trauma surgeon. I work for the police all the time. The folks with whom I work are very professional and seem to want to do the right thing all the time. There are, somehow, these folks in the police force that are, for a lack of a better word, cowboys.

Officer Michael Slager had several days to tell his story. Here’s what he was saying through his lawyer on Monday –

Slager thinks he properly followed all procedures and policies before resorting to deadly force, lawyer David Aylor said in a statement.

“When confronted, Officer Slager reached for his Taser — as trained by the department — and then a struggle ensued,” Aylor said. “The driver tried to overpower Officer Slager in an effort to take his Taser.”

Seconds later, the report added, he radioed that the suspect wrested control of the device. Even with the Taser’s prongs deployed, the device can still be used as a stun gun to temporarily incapacitate someone.

Slager “felt threatened and reached for his department-issued firearm and fired his weapon,” his attorney added.

So, then the video comes out. He gets fired from the police force and indicted for murder. We need to fix this but we will only fix this problem when we stop the craziness and decide that shooting Americans is NOT acceptable.

Walter Scott was shot and killed by someone who was supposed to guard and protect us.

From Charles Blow:

This case has also refocused attention on the power of video evidence and is likely to redouble calls for the universal implementation of police body cameras (the video in this case came from a witness). What would have happened if video of this incident had not surfaced? Would the officer’s version of events have stood? How many such cases must there be where there is no video?

But I would argue that the issue we are facing in these cases is not one of equipment, or even policy, but culture.

I would submit that cameras would have an impact on policy and culture, but that a change in culture must be bigger than both. It must start with “good cops” no longer countenancing the behavior of “bad cops.” It will start with those good cops publicly and vociferously chastising and condemning their brethren when they are wrong. Their silence has never been — and is certainly no longer — suitable. We must hear from them, not necessarily from the rank-and-file but from those higher up the ladder.

By |2015-04-08T23:49:29-04:00April 8th, 2015|Legal, Race|Comments Off on Another Black Man Gunned Down

Beck wants teachers and police to be realistic

First of all, let me preface my remarks by stating that I really don’t like Glenn Beck. It’s nothing personal. I have nothing against the way he combs his hair or against his success. I’m happy for anyone who is successful in the United States (if they have done it lawfully). The problem that I have a Glenn Beck is that he is a pseudo-intellectual. He has this chalkboard shtick that he does in which multiple non sequiturs are tied together. His whole deal, to me, seems to be manufactured to deceive instead of illuminate.

Now, with that as the background, Glenn Beck stated on his radio show yesterday how he wanted to set the record straight. Here’s what he said (making transcripts is much harder than it looks):

Beck: So I just want to make that clear. Cops, firefighters… I have no problem with teachers. Who doesn’t want their teachers to make the most amount of money? But, in a realistic, free enterprise sort of way.

Sidekick: We want to take care of our teachers, our cops are firefighters (crosstalk)

Beck: Absolutely. the American and I am no different than the average American. The average American wants to take care of their teachers, their cops, their firemen and police and their arghh, soldiers. That’s who they want to take care of. They protect us and they teach our kids. We want to protect them, take care of them. Not a problem with that. Never, never, have I had a problem with that. But it must be realistic. And we haven’t had to have this conversation, ever. Because the problem was going to be… It’s not just the firemen and everything else. It’s you. As well. You. Every taxpayer is going to go broke, or going to lose their 401(k)s or whatever you have if the United States and state after state goes bankrupt you lose everything. (audio courtesy of Media Matters)

Just for a second, let’s remember that Glenn Beck is a multimillionaire. He’s not one of us. Glenn Beck is not sitting at home trying to figure out how he’s going to pay the rent, pay his car note and keep food on the table. So, it is clear that he is different than every other American. Let’s move past this. I applaud him for saying that teachers, firefighters and police officers should get paid more. Then, though, he goes on to qualify his statement by saying that they should only get paid more in a “realistic” manner. What does that mean? Is he stating that these folks are now getting paid in an unrealistic manner? Is he stating that somehow collective bargaining is not a free enterprise system? By ending his statement with this apocalyptic “everybody’s going broke” type of statement, is he saying that teachers, firefighters and police officers should get paid less?

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Let’s be honest, the thought that America is broke is permeating the conservative airwaves. The Conservatives cannot stop talking about how broken and out of money the dederal and individual state governments are. They don’t seem to mention that unpaid-for tax cuts to the rich have sapped our cash supply. America has the money. The money is residing in the pockets of people like Glenn Beck.

By |2011-03-01T12:53:28-04:00March 1st, 2011|Budget, Media, Party Politics|3 Comments
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